GOBankingRates

These Are the 50 Best Cities for Renters

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Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Buying a home seems to be all the rage during the pandemic, as interest rates have bottomed out and made the mortgage loan process a lot easier to swallow. Still, many Americans aren’t jumping to buy. After all, the coronavirus pandemic put millions of people out of work, and others fear a future layoff — not to mention the sky-high listing prices that are causing some experts to warn of an impending crash.

Find Out: These Are the 15 Best Cities for Gen Z To Live Well on a Budget
Read: The Salary You Need To Afford Rent in Every State

But while no one likes to pay rent, the cost of that burden differs greatly depending on where you live, a GOBankingRates study shows. GOBankingRates compiled data on the median rental price for different sizes and types of living spaces across the 150 largest cities in America, then scored each and combined the averages to reveal the cheapest places to rent in the country. Before uprooting to a new city, it’s financially savvy to find out if you can afford the rent.

Last updated: Sept. 24, 2021

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50. Aurora, Illinois

  • Population: 200,660
  • Median rent (overall): $1,193
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $910
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,182

Check Out: Almost Every State Is In Debt Thanks to COVID — What Now?

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49. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Population: 324,692
  • Median rent (overall): $1,108
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $913
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,123

Related: How To Find the Perfect Apartment in 2021: 7 Best Apartment Websites

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48. Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Population: 177,365
  • Median rent (overall): $1,074
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $882
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,054

From Houses to RVs: What To Buy During the Pandemic

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47. Grand Rapids, Michigan

  • Population: 197,081
  • Median rent (overall): $1,106
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $872
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,116
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46. St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Population: 302,760
  • Median rent (overall): $1,037
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $899
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,133
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45. Tucson, Arizona

  • Population: 539,216
  • Median rent (overall): $1,100
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $834
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,107

Compare: The Average Rent in Every State

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44. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Population: 481,417
  • Median rent (overall): $1,068
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $919
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,078
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43. Houston, Texas

  • Population: 2,295,982
  • Median rent (overall): $1,031
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $906
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,078
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42. San Antonio, Texas

  • Population: 1,486,521
  • Median rent (overall): $1,044
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $898
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,090

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41. New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Population: 389,648
  • Median rent (overall): $1,049
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $917
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,071
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40. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Population: 288,719
  • Median rent (overall): $1,014
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $864
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,002
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39. Huntsville, Alabama

  • Population: 193,663
  • Median rent (overall): $1,059
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $842
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,005
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38. Rochester, New York

  • Population: 207,778
  • Median rent (overall): $1,013
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $842
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,076
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37. Bakersfield, California

  • Population: 375,699
  • Median rent (overall): $1,071
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $756
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $985

Find Out: 28 House-Flipping Rules You Should Never Break

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36. Spokane, Washington

  • Population: 214,804
  • Median rent (overall): $1,022
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $765
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,051

From Alabama to Wyoming: The Cost of Living Across America

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35. Birmingham, Alabama

  • Population: 212,021
  • Median rent (overall): $962
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $808
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $952
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34. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Population: 559,202
  • Median rent (overall): $1,019
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $813
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,001
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33. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Population: 857,637
  • Median rent (overall): $996
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $831
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,014
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32. St. Louis, Missouri

  • Population: 311,273
  • Median rent (overall): $941
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $827
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,066

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31. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Population: 465,112
  • Median rent (overall): $977
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $810
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,035
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30. Columbus, Ohio

  • Population: 867,628
  • Median rent (overall): $1,007
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $810
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $1,020
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29. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Population: 653,248
  • Median rent (overall): $1,004
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $829
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $967
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28. Columbus, Georgia

  • Population: 196,670
  • Median rent (overall): $995
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $801
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $924

Income Based: Best Places in Every State To Live On a Fixed Income

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27. Fayetteville, North Carolina

  • Population: 209,867
  • Median rent (overall): $1,027
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $777
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $914
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26. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Population: 225,362
  • Median rent (overall): $973
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $813
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $950

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25. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Population: 617,032
  • Median rent (overall): $966
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $783
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $985
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24. Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Population: 185,429
  • Median rent (overall): $987
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $775
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $971
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23. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

  • Population: 318,734
  • Median rent (overall): $982
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $781
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $955
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22. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Population: 303,587
  • Median rent (overall): $926
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $761
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $962

Make Your Money Work for You
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21. Augusta, Georgia

  • Population: 196,807
  • Median rent (overall): $997
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $792
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $932

Options: Best Places To Live On a $50,000 Salary in Every State

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20. Montgomery, Alabama

  • Population: 200,156
  • Median rent (overall): $992
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $763
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $941
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19. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Population: 637,284
  • Median rent (overall): $933
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $735
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $916

Savings: Americans’ Savings Drop to Lowest Point in Years

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18. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  • Population: 174,151
  • Median rent (overall): $886
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $740
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $901
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17. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Population: 280,849
  • Median rent (overall): $913
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $743
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $932
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16. Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Population: 402,223
  • Median rent (overall): $918
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $722
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $930
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15. El Paso, Texas

  • Population: 680,354
  • Median rent (overall): $942
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $740
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $904
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14. Mobile, Alabama

  • Population: 191,485
  • Median rent (overall): $929
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $695
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $888
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13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Population: 596,886
  • Median rent (overall): $914
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $747
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $918
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12. Lubbock, Texas

  • Population: 250,415
  • Median rent (overall): $890
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $694
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $856

Affordable Living: 35 Cities Where You Can Afford To Live On Less Than $50,000

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11. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Population: 242,125
  • Median rent (overall): $883
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $702
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $856
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10. Des Moines, Iowa

  • Population: 215,932
  • Median rent (overall): $856
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $720
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $893
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9. Detroit, Michigan

  • Population: 677,155
  • Median rent (overall): $916
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $671
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $895
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8. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Population: 300,357
  • Median rent (overall): $806
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $691
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $878

Find Out: Biden Wants to Shut Down Credit Bureaus – What Would That Mean for You?

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7. Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Population: 198,135
  • Median rent (overall): $822
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $702
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $834
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6. Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Population: 193,785
  • Median rent (overall): $819
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $694
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $827
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5. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Population: 264,052
  • Median rent (overall): $805
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $647
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $815
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4. Amarillo, Texas

  • Population: 198,773
  • Median rent (overall): $802
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $625
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $807
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3. Akron, Ohio

  • Population: 198,314
  • Median rent (overall): $792
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $603
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $800
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2. Toledo, Ohio

  • Population: 278,193
  • Median rent (overall): $786
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $596
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $789
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1. Cleveland, Ohio

  • Population: 387,398
  • Median rent (overall): $773
  • Median rent (1-bedroom): $611
  • Median rent (2-bedroom): $779

More From GOBankingRates

    Joel Anderson and Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

    To find the 50 best cities for renters, GOBankingRates looked at the 150 largest cities in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey and used Apartment List’s October, 2020 rental data to find each city’s (1) overall estimated typical rent price, (2) estimated rent for a studio, (3) estimated rent for a 1-bedroom, (4) estimated rent for a 2-bedroom, and (5) estimated rent for a 3-bedroom. GOBankingRates then scored all cities with available data against each other on factors (1-5) and ranked them based on their combined score. No. 1 is the overall best city for renters in terms of affordability. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 4, 2020.