The 25 best places to live in the US if you’re a renter

The best places for renting depend on more than just rent costs.

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The best places for renting depend on more than just rent costs.
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Sean Pavone/Business Insider

  • Renters have more than high rent costs to think about when finding a place to live.
  • SmartAsset recently released a report on the best places to live in the US for renters based on seven metrics, from unemployment rate to average commute time.
  • The Midwest is a great area for renters – four cities made it into the top 10.

In a time when the cost of rent is so high that a minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US, finding an affordable place to live can seem like an endless game.

But renters, who spent a record amount of money on housing in 2017, don’t have just costs to worry about – they also need to look at factors like distance to work and safety.

SmartAsset took all of this into consideration in its recent report on the best cities for renters. They looked at data for 96 cities, comparing them across seven different metrics: rent-to-income ratio, percent of housing stock dedicated to renting, eviction rate, density of entertainment establishments, crime rate, unemployment rate, and average commute time.

SmartAsset ranked each city in every metric, then weighted all metrics equally to calculate each city’s average ranking, which determined the final list.

Turns out, the Midwest is a great area for renters, with four cities making the top 10.

Below, see the best 25 places to live for renters, ranked. All rent prices are sourced from Zillow and are the median for all rentals in the metro area.


25. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Tupungato/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,350

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 58%

Unemployment rate: 5.5%


24. Los Angeles, California

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Checubus/Shutterstock

Median rent: $3,500

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 42%

Unemployment rate: 5%


23. Irvine, California

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Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock

Median rent: $3,350

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 46%

Unemployment rate: 3.8%


22. Santa Ana, California

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Lunasee Studios/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,200

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 43%

Unemployment rate: 3.8%


21. Irving, Texas

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Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,895

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 64%

Unemployment rate: 4.3%


19 (TIE). Omaha, Nebraska

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Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,315

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 54%

Unemployment rate: 3.5%


19 (TIE). Long Beach, California

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Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,200

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 50%

Unemployment rate: 5%


18. Henderson, Nevada

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James Mattil/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,500

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 60%

Unemployment rate: 5.4%


17. Nashville, Tennessee

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,655

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 57%

Unemployment rate: 3.3%


16. Seattle, Washington

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Asif Islam/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,700

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 57%

Unemployment rate: 3.6%


15. Lubbock, Texas

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Visit Lubbock/Facebook

Median rent: $1,200

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55%

Unemployment rate: 3.4%


14. San Diego, California

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Lowe Llaguno/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,695

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 48%

Unemployment rate: 4.4%


12 (TIE). Raleigh, North Carolina

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,395

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 57%

Unemployment rate: 4.2%


12 (TIE). New York, NY

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Brian Kinney/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,900

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 49%

Unemployment rate: 4.5%


11. Glendale, California

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trekandshoot/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,995

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 42%

Unemployment rate: 5%


10. Spring Valley, Nevada

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Famartin/Wikimedia

Median rent: $1,350

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 54%

Unemployment rate: 5.4%


9. Jersey City, New Jersey

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,100

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55%

Unemployment rate: 3.8%


8. San Francisco, California

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Daniel Avram/Shutterstock

Median rent: $4,500

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 63%

Unemployment rate: 3.2%


7. St. Paul, Minnesota

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Sam Wagner/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,495

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55%

Unemployment rate: 3.8%


6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,795

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55%

Unemployment rate: 3.5%


5. Arlington, Virginia

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BrianPlrwin/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,450

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 59%

Unemployment rate: 3.3%


4. Lincoln, Nebraska

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Steven Frame/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,280

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55%

Unemployment rate: 3.4%


3. Austin, Texas

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,650

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 54%

Unemployment rate: 3.4%


2. Boston, Massachusetts

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,700

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 52%

Unemployment rate: 3.6%


1. Madison, Wisconsin

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Sean Pavone/Business Insider

Median rent: $1,698

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 51%

Unemployment rate: 2.9%