Kalamazoo earned the top spot on The Ascent’s list of most affordable cities in the nation.
The personal finance website used the cost of living and salary data for more than 200 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States to determine the 10 best cities with the highest incomes and lowest costs of living.
While Kalamazoo’s salary of $47,060 is a little less than the national average, the cost of living is 33% less than the average cost in America. In line with the cost of living, Kalamazoo offers a variety of affordable housing options.
“Whether the idea of a converted third-floor loft appeals, or you prefer a suburban setting, the prices are attractive,” The Ascent article states. “According to Zillow, you can buy a large five-bedroom, three-bath home for $210,000 -- and property taxes would be under $3,800 a year.”
Kalamazoo also makes living affordable through its plentiful opportunities for employment with companies such as Stryker and Bronson Healthcare.
Another affordability factor is related to higher education. The city has implemented a scholarship program known as The Kalamazoo Promise, which covers college tuition and mandatory fees for graduating high school students that have been enrolled in the Kalamazoo public school district from the beginning of the ninth grade. The scholarship covers either a bachelor’s degree or 130 credits and can be used at any public university in the state of Michigan, any of Michigan Colleges Alliance’s 14 private colleges, trade school or a certificate program. High school students don’t need a minimum grade point average to qualify for the program and have 10 years to use the scholarship after they graduate from high school.
Rounding out The Ascent’s list of the 10 best cities for high salaries and low costs of living are Huntsville, Alabama; Des Moines, Iowa; Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Houston, Texas; Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Washington; Raleigh, North Carolina; Dayton, Ohio; and Peoria, Illinois.