These Are The 10 Most Affordable Places In Virginia


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:

  1. Martinsville
  2. Covington
  3. Bristol
  4. Roanoke
  5. Big Stone Gap
  6. Bedford
  7. Vinton
  8. Lynchburg
  9. Buena Vista
  10. Danville

So listen up Vienna 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 Old Dominion

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
Healthcare: 88
Housing: 53
Transportation: 90
Utiltiies: 80

2. Covington

Covington, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,903
Services: 97
Groceries: 90
Healthcare: 92
Housing: 47
Transportation: 99
Utiltiies: 107

3. Bristol

Bristol, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,747
Services: 100
Groceries: 91
Healthcare: 89
Housing: 59
Transportation: 94
Utiltiies: 98

4. Roanoke

Roanoke, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 96,742
Services: 90
Groceries: 90
Healthcare: 96
Housing: 75
Transportation: 88
Utiltiies: 100

5. Big Stone Gap

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,567
Services: 100
Groceries: 91
Healthcare: 89
Housing: 60
Transportation: 94
Utiltiies: 98

6. Bedford


Population: 6,103
Services: 95
Groceries: 92
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 76
Transportation: 87
Utiltiies: 98

7. Vinton

Vinton, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,087
Services: 90
Groceries: 90
Healthcare: 96
Housing: 79
Transportation: 88
Utiltiies: 100

8. Lynchburg

Lynchburg, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 75,657
Services: 95
Groceries: 92
Healthcare: 95
Housing: 80
Transportation: 87
Utiltiies: 98

9. Buena Vista

Buena Vista, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,679
Services: 97
Groceries: 90
Healthcare: 92
Housing: 68
Transportation: 99
Utiltiies: 107

10. Danville

Danville, Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 43,185
Services: 112
Groceries: 102
Healthcare: 93
Housing: 55
Transportation: 88
Utiltiies: 110

Detailed List Of Affordable Places In Virginia

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

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