The average American household earned $55,775 in 2015. So where are the best cities to live on the median household income? In a new study, SmartAsset looked at metrics reflective of livability and affordability to uncover the best cities for living on a $55,000 salary, and Bend takes the eighth spot!
According to SmartAsset: “If you love the outdoors, Bend is an especially enticing destination. The city and its surrounding region are known for mountain biking, hiking and fishing. There are also 18.9 civic and entertainment establishments per 10,000 residents in the area, the fifth highest in the top 10. Plus, Bend has the second-lowest commute time in the study. And while Bend has the highest median monthly housing costs in the top 10 cities, it eats up 23.8 percent of a $55,000 income, which is still below the maximum of 30 percent that many financial experts recommend.”
At the top of this list is Bismarck, North Dakota: “If you are living on an annual income of $55,000, it is hard to go wrong in Bismarck. The city has seen impressive growth in the recent past, thanks to an unemployment rate of only 2.1 percent. Housing costs here, despite the growth, aren’t much of a problem, either. The median housing cost in Bismarck is only $854 per month. So if you earn exactly $55,000, the median monthly housing cost would eat up 18.6 percent of income. That’s well below the maximum of 30 percent that many financial experts recommend.
“Getting around town is also no trouble, although you will probably need to drive. The average commute time in Bismarck is 16.7 minutes, the fourth-lowest in our study. That commute time looks especially good when you compare it to cities like New York, where the average commute time is almost 40 minutes.”
Other cities that followed in order of ranking:
2. Billings, Montana
3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
4. Santa Fe, New Mexico
5. Boise, Idaho
6. Cheektowaga, New York
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
8. Bend, Oregon
9. Meridian, Idaho
10. Victoria, Texas