Durham has made Kiplinger’s list of the nation’s “Cheapest Cities You’ll Want To Live In“! The list acknowledges that the cheapest places to live often aren’t necessarily the best places to live, so they sought out inexpensive cities that are actually attractive places to live, work and play, based on economic health and affordability. They took a list of the 100 cheapest cities in the U.S. (with populations about 50,000), based on cost of living, and then whittled the list down to the top 10. In addition to the economics, Kiplinger also looked for places that offer residents access to fun, low-cost things to do.
Here’s how Durham stacked up according to Kiplinger:
Cost of living: 7.3% below U.S. average
City population: 245,475
Median household income: $48,241
Unemployment rate: 5%
Why you’ll like living here: Southern charm on a shoestring.
Along with Raleigh and Chapel Hill, Durham is part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, which serves as the hub of the Tar Heel State’s biotechnology industry. Forty percent of the region’s biotech jobs are located in Durham. That’s a big reason we called it one of the best cities for mid-career professionals back in 2012.
At $179,500, the median home value is one of the highest on our list and just a hair below the national median. But Durham’s other living costs, such as utility and transportation expenses, are well below the national average, which helps offset the higher housing prices.
During your downtime, take advantage of some of the area’s reasonably priced recreational activities and entertainment options. This includes exploring nature trails, and attending free arts festivals and concerts. Scholarly types can take classes at Duke for a fee, plus the university offers free online courses.