These Are The 10 Most Affordable Places In Michigan


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

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A wise sage once said “she works hard for the money” and these places in Michigan definitely treat her right.

You see, these are the places in Michigan where the cost of living is the lowest; where your salary goes the furthest. And when if you have the luxury of choosing where to live in the Wolverine State, then the cost of living should play a role in the decision.

So we did the hard for you and crunched the numbers to find the cities that have lower food, energy, and housing costs. After the dust settled on our analysis of the 143 largest places in Michigan, we were left with this set of the best value for your money:

  1. Benton Harbor
  2. Springfield
  3. Ironwood
  4. Albion
  5. Muskegon Heights
  6. Jackson
  7. Niles
  8. Three Rivers
  9. Highland Park
  10. Hillsdale

So listen up Birmingham as we explain how we created this ranking, you could learn some things from the rest of the state.

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

There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things 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” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 143 places in Michigan that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average. A score of 90 means it’s 10% less expensive.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

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1. Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,113
Services: 95
Groceries: 101
Healthcare: 94
Housing: 38
Transportation: 95
Utiltiies: 99

2. Springfield


Population: 5,250
Services: 89
Groceries: 83
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 46
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 101

3. Ironwood

Ironwood, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,366
Services: 93
Groceries: 95
Healthcare: 109
Housing: 40
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 91

4. Albion

Albion, Michigan

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,638
Services: 89
Groceries: 83
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 47
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 101

5. Muskegon Heights

Muskegon Heights, Michigan

Source: Flickr

Population: 10,923
Services: 101
Groceries: 94
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 41
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 96

6. Jackson

Jackson, Michigan

Source: Flickr

Population: 33,661
Services: 89
Groceries: 83
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 49
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 101

7. Niles

Niles, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,594
Services: 88
Groceries: 90
Healthcare: 92
Housing: 53
Transportation: 112
Utiltiies: 84

8. Three Rivers

Three Rivers, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,792
Services: 89
Groceries: 83
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 50
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 101

9. Highland Park

Highland Park, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,971
Services: 96
Groceries: 90
Healthcare: 99
Housing: 40
Transportation: 98
Utiltiies: 105

10. Hillsdale


Population: 8,292
Services: 89
Groceries: 83
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 51
Transportation: 97
Utiltiies: 101

Detailed List Of Affordable Places In Michigan

City Rank Population Services Grociers Healthcare
Benton Harbor 1 10,113 95 101 94
Springfield 2 5,250 89 83 95
Ironwood 3 5,366 93 95 109
Albion 4 8,638 89 83 95
Muskegon Heights 5 10,923 101 94 95
Jackson 6 33,661 89 83 95
Niles 7 11,594 88 90 92
Three Rivers 8 7,792 89 83 95
Highland Park 9 11,971 96 90 99
Hillsdale 10 8,292 89 83 95
Flint 11 103,263 96 90 99
River Rouge 12 7,951 96 90 99
Hamtramck 13 22,317 96 90 99
Muskegon 14 38,061 101 94 95
Alpena 15 10,479 101 94 95
Dowagiac 16 5,899 95 101 94
Saginaw 17 51,776 96 90 99
Alma 18 9,341 101 94 95
Coldwater 19 10,936 89 83 95
Center Line 20 8,289 96 90 99
Bay City 21 34,899 96 90 99
Sturgis 22 10,988 89 83 95
Battle Creek 23 52,327 89 83 95
Belding 24 5,778 101 94 95
Ecorse 25 9,545 96 90 99
Inkster 26 25,455 96 90 99
Detroit 27 721,459 96 90 99
Allegan 28 5,004 89 83 95
Iron Mountain 29 7,662 97 91 107
Menominee 30 8,603 97 91 107
Ishpeming 31 6,500 97 91 107
Ionia 32 11,602 101 94 95
Kingsford 33 5,164 97 91 107
Melvindale 34 10,637 96 90 99
Pontiac 35 60,105 96 90 99
Cadillac 36 10,345 101 94 95
Big Rapids 37 10,657 101 94 95
Kalamazoo 38 74,494 89 83 95
Hastings 39 7,360 89 83 95
Lincoln Park 40 37,998 96 90 99
Hazel Park 41 16,579 96 90 99
Greenville 42 8,465 101 94 95
Adrian 43 21,170 96 90 99
Owosso 44 15,139 96 90 99
Owosso 45 15,139 96 90 99
Mount Clemens 46 16,394 96 90 99
Escanaba 47 12,609 97 91 107
Lansing 48 114,537 101 94 95
Eaton Rapids 49 5,228 89 83 95
Charlotte 50 9,075 89 83 95
Wayne 51 17,562 96 90 99
Marshall 52 7,094 89 83 95
Port Huron 53 30,253 96 90 99
Burton 54 29,915 96 90 99
Romulus 55 23,790 96 90 99
Roseville 56 47,427 96 90 99
Ludington 57 8,081 101 94 95
Davison 58 5,181 96 90 99
Mason 59 8,203 89 83 95
Wyandotte 60 25,839 96 90 99
Taylor 61 62,916 96 90 99
Lapeer 62 8,899 96 90 99
Holly 63 6,099 96 90 99
Wyoming 64 72,408 101 94 95
Madison Heights 65 29,854 96 90 99
Eastpointe 66 32,569 96 90 99
Southgate 67 29,879 96 90 99
Warren 68 134,550 96 90 99
Westland 69 83,770 96 90 99
Harper Woods 70 14,136 96 90 99
Manistee 71 6,254 97 91 107
Grand Rapids 72 189,340 101 94 95
Flat Rock 73 9,773 96 90 99
Flushing 74 8,370 96 90 99
Grand Haven 75 10,541 101 94 95
Mount Pleasant 76 26,092 101 94 95
Ferndale 77 20,062 96 90 99
Tecumseh 78 8,523 96 90 99
Holland 79 33,307 101 94 95
Monroe 80 20,810 96 90 99
Garden City 81 27,639 96 90 99
Zeeland 82 5,561 101 94 95
Swartz Creek 83 5,717 96 90 99
Dearborn Heights 84 57,454 96 90 99
Fraser 85 14,563 96 90 99
Fenton 86 11,656 96 90 99
Grand Ledge 87 7,805 101 94 95
Norton Shores 88 23,934 101 94 95
Riverview 89 12,451 96 90 99
Portage 90 46,425 89 83 95
Oak Park 91 29,523 96 90 99
Trenton 92 18,792 96 90 99
Midland 93 42,024 101 94 95
Kentwood 94 48,877 101 94 95
Allen Park 95 28,111 96 90 99
Grandville 96 15,502 101 94 95
Marysville 97 9,933 96 90 99
Richmond 98 5,720 96 90 99
Hudsonville 99 7,162 101 94 95
Ypsilanti 100 19,638 96 90 99
Woodhaven 101 12,800 96 90 99
Rockford 102 5,710 101 94 95
Walled Lake 103 7,014 96 90 99
Houghton 104 7,692 97 91 107
Dearborn 105 97,509 96 90 99
Howell 106 9,537 96 90 99
Walker 107 23,600 101 94 95
Auburn Hills 108 21,408 96 90 99
Southfield 109 72,280 96 90 99
Clawson 110 11,899 96 90 99
Grand Blanc 111 8,266 96 90 99
South Lyon 112 11,306 96 90 99
Milford 113 6,211 96 90 99
Sterling Heights 114 129,887 96 90 99
New Baltimore 115 11,884 96 90 99
Royal Oak 116 57,761 96 90 99
Farmington 117 10,405 96 90 99
Marquette 118 21,383 97 91 107
East Lansing 119 48,449 101 94 95
Berkley 120 15,037 96 90 99
Livonia 121 96,632 96 90 99
Brighton 122 7,498 96 90 99
Wixom 123 13,544 96 90 99
Traverse City 124 14,702 97 91 107
Plymouth 125 9,070 96 90 99
Saline 126 8,845 96 90 99
Petoskey 127 5,710 97 91 107
Milan 128 5,731 111 101 113
Farmington Hills 129 80,131 96 90 99
Grosse Pointe Woods 130 16,061 96 90 99
Rochester Hills 131 71,251 96 90 99
Ann Arbor 132 114,725 96 90 99
Troy 133 81,307 96 90 99
East Grand Rapids 134 10,797 101 94 95
Northville 135 5,996 96 90 99
Novi 136 55,319 96 90 99
Grosse Pointe Farms 137 9,433 96 90 99
Rochester 138 12,647 96 90 99
Grosse Pointe Park 139 11,523 96 90 99
Grosse Pointe 140 5,397 96 90 99
Huntington Woods 141 6,236 96 90 99
Beverly Hills 142 10,295 96 90 99
Birmingham 143 20,153 96 90 99

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