4 Alabama cities make Kiplinger’s 25 Cheapest Cities to Live in US list

Mural in downtown Anniston – February 2022. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Alabama cities—Anniston, Decatur/Hartselle, Florence and Mobile—each made Kiplinger’s 2022 list of 25 Cheapest Cities to Live in the US

Founded in 1920, Kiplinger is a leading publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice. The company is best known for the popular weekly publication, The Kiplinger Letter.

How the list was produced

Kiplinger based their top 25 ranking on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s (C2ER) calculations of living expenses in 267 US urban areas, each with 50,000 residents or more.

Living expenses include:

  • Groceries
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities 
  • Miscellaneous  goods and services (includes costs of going to a movie or hair salon)

How the 4 cities ranked

Historic Princess Theatre in Decatur. (Nathan Watson/The Bama Buzz

Alabama was the only state to have four cities in the top 25.

Here is their ranking and why. 

#6 Anniston: Kiplinger credits Anniston/Calhoun County’s low housing costs for its high ranking. According to their research, Anniston area residents pay 42% lower housing costs than the average American household.

#12 Decatur/Hartselle: Much like Anniston, low housing costs propelled Morgan County’s two largest cities onto the national list. Housing is 38% lower with expenses such as pizza, haircuts and dry cleaning being cheaper, too.

#16 Florence: Once again, housing costs are lower in the Shoals than the national average. Kiplinger cites cheaper healthcare of 17% less as one of the reasons for the ranking.

#22 Mobile: Affordable living costs in Mobile are 14% below the national average, according to Kiplinger. Mobile also benefits from Alabama being a tax-friendly state for retirees.

Mobile 10 1 Mobile Al
Downtown Mobile, Alabama in the day. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Did Kipplinger get it right? Tell us what you think—tag us at @thebamabuzz.

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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