Those in the early stages of adulthood just setting off on their own may find it to be both an exciting and nerve-racking time. While you get to make all your own decisions, you’re responsible for all your own expenses as well, and often have to try to meet people while working or going to college at the same time. It’s also stressful to have to figure out where to live on a budget if you haven’t already settled on a place.
To find the best cities for young, broke singles, GOBankingRates sourced data from ApartmentList, Sperling’s Best, the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey, and AreaVibes. Texas showed up as a particularly popular state for both affordability and a high percentage of young singles, with the top four spots on the list. Keep scrolling to see all the cities that could be a great fit if you’re young, broke and single.
6. Lincoln, Nebraska
- Monthly expenditures: $4,221.62
- 2022 1-bedroom rent: $843.44
- % of population, single: 31%
In the town of Lincoln you’ll be in good company with other single young adults — 31% of the population, in fact. Additionally, 15% of the population are aged 18 to 24. The livability score is also good, at 78.
Enjoy meeting other singles in the historic Haymarket district for shopping and eating out. You can also visit the state museum or take in a Cornhuskers football game at Memorial Stadium.
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5. Fargo, North Dakota
- Monthly expenditures: $4,117.34
- 2022 1-bedroom rent: $813.00
- % of population, single: 31%
Aside from being the setting of a popular Coen Brothers movie and TV show of the same name, Fargo is home to a large number of single folks. Additionally, 14% of the population is between the ages of 18 and 24.
Its decently high livability score of 76 has to do with its many amenities. Meet new people at the Fargo Zoo and the Red River Air Museum, or stay young at heart with the Thunder Road Amusement Park, among many other things to do.
4. College Station, Texas
- Monthly expenditures: $4,112.09
- 2022 1-bedroom rent: $844.67
- % of population, single: 30%
College Station has even more single young folks between the age of 18 to 25 — 21% of the population — because it is literally a college town, home to Texas A&M. But unlike many other college towns, it’s not expensive to live here.
Attractions include fun activities like axe throwing, escape rooms, wineries (for those 21 and over), a Nature Center and a ton of great dining options.
3. Temple, Texas
- Monthly expenditures: $4,102.12
- 2022 1-bedroom rent: $1,008.22
- % of population, single: 25%
Not only is there a decently high amount of single people in Temple Texas, 25%, another 11% of the population are aged 18 to 24. While you will pay the most rent here of any of the cities on this list, the overall monthly expenditures are third lowest at barely over $4,100.
Enjoy the livability score of 75, due to a thriving arts and entertainment scene, lots of places to dine out, and a rich calendar of year-round events.
2. San Angelo, Texas
- Monthly expenditures: $3,819.81
- 2022 1-bedroom rent: $851.44
- % of population, single: 27%
It’s easy to see why San Angelo takes the No. 2 spot on the list. It’s the first city with monthly expenditures less than $4,000, it has a livability score of 78, 27% of the population is single and 15% of the population is between ages 18 to 24.
Though the town is known for a lot of its historic attractions, there’s also a newly renovated planetarium, a nature center, art galleries and much more.
1. Abilene, Texas
- Monthly expenditures: $3,687.53
- 2022 1-bedroom rent: $759.78
- % of population, single: 28%
Abilene takes the top spot as the best city for young, broke and single people for one big reason: monthly cost of living is not a lot more than $3,500. Furthermore, rent is several hundred dollars less than $1,000 and 28% of the population is single, with 13% of the population being between the ages of 18 and 24.
Abilene’s livability score is 75, and its a town rich in “frontier spirit” according to its website. It’s a place steeped in the history and culture of the southwest, which plays out in its shopping, its restaurants, and its many attractions.
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Methodology: To find the best cities for young, broke singles, GOBankingRates first used ApartmentList data to find (1) average 2022 one-bedroom rents. GOBanking Rates then used Sperling’s Best to find the (2) overall cost of living index; and (3) percentage of single population for each selected city. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the annual expenditure amounts to determine how much a person might spend living in each city monthly. GOBankingRates then added monthly costs together. In order for a place to be qualified for the study, it had to have a cost of living index below the national average, and a population that is both at least 20% single and at least 10% between the ages of 18 and 24; as well as (6) have a livability score of 75 or above, as sourced from AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of October 12, 2022.