Report ranks Kalamazoo 8th in the Midwest for affordability

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A personal finance website ranked Kalamazoo as one of the top 10 cities for high salaries and low cost of living.

The Ascent, a subsidiary of The Motley Fool, released its annual list, “The 10 Best Cities for High Salaries and Low Cost of Living in the Midwest,” and Kalamazoo was ranked No. 8.

Methodology

The Ascent analyzed each city’s cost-of-living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s fourth-quarter 2020 cost of living index, which measures the price of food, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services, then converted the index into a percentage and multiplied it by the average annual expenditure of all consumer units from the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Ascent then divided the median annual household income (sourced from the 2019 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau) to determine the estimated income-to-expenses ratio.

Kalamazoo statistics

Kalamazoo was found to be both the least expensive city on the list and the city with the lowest wages. The cost-of-living index is 23.2% below the national average, while the median income is 17.8% below the national median. When it comes to unemployment, Kalamazoo does better than the national average.

  • Estimated income-to-expense ratio: 166
  • Cost of living index: 76.8
  • Cost of living estimate: $48,412
  • Median household income: $56,441
  • Median property value: $103,700
  • Population: 76,000 (340,300 in Kalamazoo-Portage metro area)
  • Unemployment rate: 5.6%

Top 10 cities for cost of living and salaries

  1. Des Moines, Iowa
  2. St. Paul, Minnesota
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Joliet, Illinois
  5. St. Louis, Missouri
  6. Omaha, Nebraska
  7. Kansas City, Missouri
  8. Kalamazoo
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. Green Bay, Wisconsin

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