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Wichita has lowest cost of living in U.S., data shows

Wichita-Hutchinson Plus KWCH-DT logo Wichita-Hutchinson Plus KWCH-DT 11/18/2021 KWCH Staff
Aerial view of downtown Wichita © Provided by Wichita-Hutchinson Plus KWCH-DT Aerial view of downtown Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - When it comes to living in Wichita, one of the benefits often discussed is an affordable cost of living compared to other metropolitan areas across the U.S. Addressing concerns about increased living costs, a group with Move.org dug into data and ranked the 74 most populated cities from highest to lowest in living costs. In that ranking, Wichita ranks last, which is a positive for the city.

The data shows Wichita with the lowest cost of living in the U.S., edging Cincinnati, Tulsa, St. Louis and Memphis in the top five. Wichita’s monthly cost of loving at $1,219 with a median individual yearly income at $30,563 and median household income of $55,056.

Move.org found that seven of the 10 U.S. cities with the highest living costs are in California, including the top three. Irvine tops the list with a monthly living cost of $3,062. San Jose and San Francisco follow with monthly living costs around $2,800.

Honolulu and Seattle round out the top five, followed by Oakland, Calif., San Diego, Boston, Anaheim, Calif. and Santa Ana, Calif.

For most affordable cities, El Paso, Texas, Louisville, Ky. Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Tucson, Ariz. round out the top 10.

To compile its rankings, Move.org said it analyzed living costs in the 74 most populous cities in the U.S. and sourced population numbers from the U.S. Census.

“To get a complete picture of each city’s living costs, we recorded how much rent, food, gas, and utilities5 cost on average in every city,” the researchers explained.”

Researchers didn’t factor median individual income or household income into the rankings but included them for easy comparison. You can see the complete rankings, including individual and household income comparisons here: https://www.move.org/lowest-cost-of-living-by-us-city/.

The Greater Wichita Partnership’s Choose Wichita Initiative lists the city’s cost of living among the Wichita regions top strengths for talent attraction. Other strengths listed include:

  • Cost of living
  • Housing diversity and affordability
  • Presence of major companies
  • Our status as the “Air Capital of the World”
  • Short commute times
  • Entrepreneurial history and spirit
  • Higher education institutions

The Choose Wichita Initiative compares Wichita home prices, average rent and annual commute times to other cities. The data shows Wichita with the lowest average home prices and lowest average costs for rent compared to Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Los Angeles.

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