These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan For 2019


We used data and science to determine which places in Michigan go easy on your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Michigan.

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You don’t have to win the Michigan lottery or make money by shoveling snow from a million rooftops to live in most cities in Michigan: it’s extremely affordable.

Yes, learning the value of the dollar is important, but you don’t want to stress about it daily when looking for a great place to live, good food, and low cost of living.

Well, you don’t have to look any further if you choose a spot on the Michigan mitten to plant your roots. Pure Michigan is one of the most affordable in the country, and you can find ways to save money with every season.

For example, Michigan’s yearly snow apocalypse lets you save money by providing snow for ice cream, ice for ice fishing, and eco-friendly snowmobile trails. Snow for snowball fights and snow angels is just an added bonus.

And with five Great Lakes at Michigan’s disposal, summer provides another round of affordable activities with fishing and great places to swim and camp that won’t put a dent in your budget.

While all this might be true for some Michigan cities, the Yoopers, the trolls under the bridge, and the city folk of this state would beg to differ. Michigan cities have a lot to offer to all income levels; and surprisingly, there are cities in the Wolverine State that won’t break your bank.

But, to the economically savvy, to truly be the best, the state must have the nicest, most affordable places to call home. #TheMostBangForYourBuck

So if you want to live where you can point to a spot on your hand to give people directions, read on.

It’s simple economics, people. The less you have to spend on bills, the more you will have to spend on things that matter: like your home, good food, and just overall good fun.

This economic formula for affordability is no different for the good people of Michigan. Michigan takes pride in its automotive industry, forestry, agriculture, and tourism. Michigan cities have solid jobs that offer competitive salaries to offset their cost of living.

So, what does the most affordable place to live in Michigan look like?

Well, after crunching data from the US Census in terms of median housing costs, median income, and overall cost of living for cities with over 5,000 residents, Ishpeming takes the cake.

If you care about home values, cost of living, and high quality of life, take a look at the list below to find the most affordable places in Michigan, where your salary will let you live like royalty.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Michigan and the cheapest places in the country:

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Wolverine State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Michigan to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 148 places in Michigan that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Michigan according to the data is Ishpeming.

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan For 2019

Ishpeming, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,484
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (32nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 86.4x (9th cheapest)
More On Ishpeming: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Ishpeming comes in at $42,075 and the median home value is $80,700 for 2019.

Iron Mountain, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,450
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 16)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (22nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.9x (42nd cheapest)
More On Iron Mountain: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Iron Mountain comes in at $45,575 and the median home value is $79,700 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,299
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (19th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.8x (72nd cheapest)
More On Center Line: Homes For Sale | Data

Center Line is a city in Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan, surrounded entirely by the city of Warren. The population was 8,257 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Center Line comes in at $37,958 and the median home value is $63,700 for 2019.

Springfield, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,203
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (12th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.7x (84th cheapest)
More On Springfield: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

The median income in Springfield comes in at $35,458 and the median home value is $56,300 for 2019.

Wyandotte, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 25,175
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.9x (41st cheapest)
More On Wyandotte: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Wyandotte is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 25,883 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 7.6% from 2000. Wyandotte is located in southeastern Michigan, approximately 11 miles south of Detroit on the Detroit River, and is part of the collection of communities known as Downriver. Wyandotte is bounded by Southgate, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Ecorse and Lasalle.

The median income in Wyandotte comes in at $54,709 and the median home value is $89,700 for 2019.

Bay City, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 33,736
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (28th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.4x (70th cheapest)
More On Bay City: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Bay City is a city in Bay County, Michigan, located near the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 34,932, and is the principal city of the Bay City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area. The city, along with nearby Midland and Saginaw, form the Greater Tri-Cities region of Central Michigan, which has more recently been called the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The median income in Bay City comes in at $36,263 and the median home value is $67,100 for 2019.

Ironwood, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,051
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 16)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (21st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.9x (92nd cheapest)
More On Ironwood: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Ironwood is a city in Gogebic County in the U.S. state of Michigan, about 18 miles south of Lake Superior. The population was 5,387 at the 2010 census. The city is on US 2 and is situated opposite the Montreal River from Hurley, Wisconsin. It is the westernmost city in Michigan, situated on the same line of longitude as Clinton, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri.

The median income in Ironwood comes in at $29,174 and the median home value is $49,900 for 2019.

Menominee, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,298
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.0x (39th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.9x (57th cheapest)
More On Menominee: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Menominee is a city in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 8,599 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Menominee County. Menominee is the fourth-largest city in the Upper Peninsula, behind Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, and Escanaba. Menominee Township is located to the north of the city, but is politically autonomous.

The median income in Menominee comes in at $36,659 and the median home value is $73,700 for 2019.

St. Louis, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,261
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.9x (29th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.9x (64th cheapest)
More On St. Louis: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

St. Louis is a city in Gratiot County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census the population was 7,482.

The median income in St. Louis comes in at $40,577 and the median home value is $77,100 for 2019.

Wayne, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 17,090
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.6x (15th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.5x (86th cheapest)
More On Wayne: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Wayne is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan, west of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 17,593. Wayne has a long history of automotive and transportation related manufacturing. Ford Motor Company currently has two plants here; Wayne Stamping & Assembly and the Michigan Assembly Plant, formerly known as the Michigan Truck Plant.

The median income in Wayne comes in at $42,055 and the median home value is $68,700 for 2019.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Michigan Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Michigan, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in michigan for 2019.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Michigan according to the data:

  1. East Lansing
  2. Houghton
  3. Ann Arbor

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Ishpeming 27.5 6,484 1.9x 86.4x
2 Iron Mountain 34.0 7,450 1.7x 71.9x
3 Center Line 36.33 8,299 1.7x 61.8x
4 Springfield 36.5 5,203 1.6x 57.7x
5 Wyandotte 37.0 25,175 1.6x 71.9x
6 Bay City 40.0 33,736 1.9x 62.4x
7 Ironwood 40.67 5,051 1.7x 55.9x
8 Menominee 41.5 8,298 2.0x 66.9x
9 St. Louis 41.5 7,261 1.9x 63.9x
10 Wayne 42.0 17,090 1.6x 57.5x

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