These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Virginia For 2018


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

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A wise sage once said:

‘She works hard for the money…’

And these places in Virginia definitely treat her right.

You see, these are the places in Virginia 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 Old Dominion, 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 59 largest places in Virginia, we were left with this set of the best value for your money.

Here are the 10 cheapest places to live in Virginia for 2018:

  1. Martinsville (Photos)
  2. Roanoke (Photos)
  3. Vinton (Photos)
  4. Salem (Photos)
  5. Bedford
  6. Lynchburg (Photos)
  7. Bristol (Photos)
  8. Covington (Photos)
  9. Big Stone Gap (Photos)
  10. Waynesboro (Photos)

So listen up Alexandria (the most expensive place in Virginia) as we explain how we created this ranking. You could learn some things from the rest of the state.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out the best places to live in Virginia or the most expensive.

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How We Determined The Cheapest Places To Live In The Old Dominion For 2018

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 Virginia 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 59 places in Virginia 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. Martinsville

Martinsville, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,854
Services: 96
Groceries: 96
Health Care: 88
Housing: 53
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 80
Martinsville is an independent city near the southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,821. It is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

2. Roanoke

Roanoke, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 96,742
Services: 90
Groceries: 90
Health Care: 96
Housing: 75
Transportation: 88
Utilities: 100
Roanoke is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 97,032. It is located in the Roanoke Valley of the Roanoke Region of Virginia.

3. Vinton

Vinton, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,087
Services: 90
Groceries: 90
Health Care: 96
Housing: 79
Transportation: 88
Utilities: 100

4. Salem

Salem, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,792
Services: 90
Groceries: 90
Health Care: 96
Housing: 92
Transportation: 88
Utilities: 100
Salem is an independent city in the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,802. It is the county seat of Roanoke County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Salem with Roanoke County for statistical purposes.

5. Bedford


Population: 6,103
Services: 95
Groceries: 92
Health Care: 95
Housing: 76
Transportation: 87
Utilities: 98

6. Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 75,657
Services: 95
Groceries: 92
Health Care: 95
Housing: 80
Transportation: 87
Utilities: 98
Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568. The 2016 census estimates an increase to 80,212. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the ‘City of Seven Hills’ or the ‘Hill City’. In the 1860s, Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not recaptured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.

7. Bristol

Bristol, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,747
Services: 100
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 89
Housing: 59
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 98
Bristol is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,835. It is the twin city of Bristol, Tennessee, just across the state line, which runs down the middle of its main street, State Street. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Bristol, Virginia, with neighboring Washington County, Virginia, for statistical purposes. Bristol is a principal city of the Kingsport–Bristol–Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the ‘Tri-Cities’ region.

8. Covington

Covington, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,903
Services: 97
Groceries: 90
Health Care: 92
Housing: 47
Transportation: 99
Utilities: 107

9. Big Stone Gap

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,567
Services: 100
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 89
Housing: 60
Transportation: 94
Utilities: 98
Big Stone Gap is a town in Wise County, Virginia, United States. The population was 5,643 at the 2010 census.

10. Waynesboro

Waynesboro, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,030
Services: 95
Groceries: 91
Health Care: 94
Housing: 90
Transportation: 91
Utilities: 105
Waynesboro (formerly Flack), is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,006.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Virginia, this is an accurate list of the cheapest places to call home.

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places In Virginia

City Rank Population Services Groceries Health Care
Martinsville 1 13,854 96 96 88
Roanoke 2 96,742 90 90 96
Vinton 3 8,087 90 90 96
Salem 4 24,792 90 90 96
Bedford 5 6,103 95 92 95
Lynchburg 6 75,657 95 92 95
Bristol 7 17,747 100 91 89
Covington 8 5,903 97 90 92
Big Stone Gap 9 5,567 100 91 89
Waynesboro 10 21,030 95 91 94
Staunton 11 23,906 95 91 94
Buena Vista 12 6,679 97 90 92
Abingdon 13 8,166 100 91 89
Lexington 14 6,990 97 90 92
Richlands 15 5,811 97 92 108
Pulaski 16 9,084 97 92 108
Galax 17 6,942 97 92 108
Bluefield 18 5,451 97 92 108
Marion 19 5,953 97 92 108
Emporia 20 5,825 99 96 101
Wytheville 21 8,205 97 92 108
Petersburg 22 32,226 99 96 101
Danville 23 43,185 112 102 93
Radford 24 16,511 97 92 108
Hopewell 25 22,501 99 96 101
Harrisonburg 26 49,043 99 93 104
Christiansburg 27 20,980 97 92 108
South Boston 28 8,127 112 102 93
Franklin 29 8,531 104 91 109
Portsmouth 30 95,786 104 91 109
Colonial Heights 31 17,426 99 96 101
Manassas Park 32 14,409 92 113 86
Strasburg 33 6,348 108 100 99
Ashland 34 7,239 99 96 101
Hampton 35 137,471 104 91 109
Richmond 36 205,348 99 96 101
Woodstock 37 5,099 108 100 99
Front Royal 38 14,537 108 100 99
Newport News 39 180,831 104 91 109
Norfolk 40 243,056 104 91 109
Winchester 41 26,330 108 100 99
Herndon 42 23,424 92 113 86
Smithfield 43 8,059 104 91 109
Suffolk 44 84,216 104 91 109
Leesburg 45 43,208 92 113 86
Blacksburg 46 42,539 97 92 108
Vienna 47 15,748 92 113 86
Chesapeake 48 223,233 104 91 109
Virginia Beach 49 439,528 104 91 109
Warrenton 50 9,571 108 100 99
Dumfries 51 5,001 98 112 94
Poquoson 52 12,110 104 91 109
Belle Haven 53 6,808 104 91 109
Belle Haven 54 6,808 104 91 109
Purcellville 55 7,754 108 100 99
Manassas 56 37,943 98 112 94
Charlottesville 57 43,223 104 98 105
Fredericksburg 58 24,932 98 112 94
Alexandria 59 140,337 98 112 94

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