West Michigan town ranks No. 1 for affordability

West Michigan town ranks No. 1 for affordability

A partial view of downtown Kalamazoo’s skyline, including the landmark Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center. Photo via wikimedia.org

A personal finance website has ranked a town in the region as the top city for high salaries and low cost of living.

The Ascent, a subsidiary of The Motley Fool, recently released its ranking, “The 10 Best Cities for High Salaries and Low Costs of Living,” and Kalamazoo was ranked No. 1.

To determine the ranking, The Ascent analyzed cost-of-living data from The Council for Community and Economic Research’s most recent Cost of Living Index — which measures the costs of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services — and mean annual wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more than 200 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Top 10


Huntsville, Alabama

Des Moines, Iowa

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

St. Louis, Missouri

Houston, Texas

Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Washington

Raleigh, North Carolina

Dayton, Ohio

Peoria, Illinois

“All of these areas have below-average costs of living,” said Matt Frankel, CFP, a personal finance writer and contributor for The Ascent.

“In other words, you won’t find any expensive cities with disproportionately high salaries — these are cheaper places to live that pay relatively high salaries, on average. Only five of the 10 have mean salaries greater than the national average, but all allow residents to stretch their income better than most.”

The full ranking, along with other key findings, is available at bit.ly/ascentaffordability.

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