The 10 Top U.S. Cities for Renters

Renting an apartment doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Here are the top ten renter-friendly cities in the United States.

For those who have rented an apartment within the past five years, you know the struggle to balance expenses is all too real. In fact, nearly half of all U.S. renters say they’re burdened by their increasing housing expenditures.

That’s according to a 2015 report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which showed that 46 percent of renting households are spending more than the recommended 30 percent of their annual income on housing costs.

But even as rental prices continue to rise across the country, there’s still some good news on the horizon. According to Trudo Realty, there are plenty of markets throughout the U.S. that boast affordable rents.

Americans these days simply find renting a far more attractive—better yet ‘safer’—option. But that doesn’t mean that renting is any cheaper than owning a home. Increasing demand for apartments in the 2010s, without as much of an increase in supply, has put a lot of U.S. renters in a tight spot. It’s just as important to keep in mind that rental prices can vary significantly by market—similar to home prices. With that being said, there are a lot of markets out there that make renting a lot easier on your bank account.

To find the country’s most affordable rents, a study done by SmartAsset used data from the 300 largest U.S. cities on ApartmentMap.com to find the average fair market price for a two-bedroom apartment in each city. They then calculated how much a family would need to earn each year for the cost of that apartment to equal 28 percent of their income—leaving an extra two percent to cover utilities and other housing costs.

The biggest thing that this study reveals is that the most affordable rents are found throughout midsized Midwestern cities and Southern cities—in these areas, your money will go a lot further. On the other hand, places that are located on the country’s coasts are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

According to Smart Asset, here are the top 10 most affordable U.S. cities for renters.

10. Greenbay, Wisconsin

Rent: $701

Required Income: $30,043

9. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Rent: $690

Required Income: $29,571

8. South Bend, Indiana

Rent: $685

Required Income: $29,375

7. Killeen, Texas

Rent: $682

Required Income: $29,229

6. Springfield, Missouri

Rent: $681

Required Income: $29,186

5. Toledo, Ohio

Rent: $680


Required Income: $29,143

4. Topeka, Kansas

Rent: $672

Required Income: $28,800

3. Independence, Missouri

Rent: $671

Required Income: $28,757

2. Lawton, Iowa

Rent: $594

Required Income: $25,457

1. Provo Utah

Rent: $572

Required Income: $24,514