The 25 best places to live in the US if you’re a renter

The best places for renting depend on more than just rent costs.

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The best places for renting depend on more than just rent costs.
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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

In a time when the cost of rent is so high that a minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US, finding an affordable place to live can seem like an endless, disheartening game.

But renters, who spent a record amount of money on housing in 2017, don’t have just costs to worry about – they also need to look at factors like distance to work and safety.

SmartAsset took all of this into consideration in its recent report on the best cities for renters. The company looked at data for 96 cities, comparing them across seven different metrics: rent-to-income ratio, percent of housing stock dedicated to renting, eviction rate, density of entertainment establishments, crime rate, unemployment rate, and average commute time.

Read more: The 20 worst US cities for financial stability

SmartAsset ranked each city in every metric, then weighted all metrics equally to calculate each city’s average ranking, which determined the final list.

California is the most represented state, with seven cities making the list. Turns out, the Midwest is a great area for renters, too, with six cities making the top 25.

Below, see the best 25 places to live for renters, ranked. All rent prices are sourced from Zillow and represent the median for all rentals in the metro area.


25. Yonkers, New York

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John Arehart/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,038

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 44.3%

Unemployment rate: 4.9%


24. Anaheim, California

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James Kirkikis/Shutterstock

Median rent: $3,200

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 40.1%

Unemployment rate: 3.1%


23. Cincinnati, Ohio

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photo.ua/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,353

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 56.1%

Unemployment rate: 4.2%


22. Santa Ana, California

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Lunasee Studios/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,600

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 38.5%

Unemployment rate: 3.1%


21. Columbus, Ohio

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,350

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 56.6%

Unemployment rate: 3.8%


T19. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Tupungato/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,200

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 56%

Unemployment rate: 4.7%


T19. Los Angeles, California

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Checubus/Shutterstock

Median rent: $3,200

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 43.7%

Unemployment rate: 4.7%


17. Henderson, Nevada

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James Mattil/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,319

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55.6%

Unemployment rate: 5.0%


16. Seattle, Washington

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Asif Islam/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,400

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 57.1%

Unemployment rate: 3.7%


15. Virginia Beach, VA

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Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

Median rent: $1,400

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 55.7%

Unemployment rate: 3.2%


14. Lexington, Kentucky

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Median rent: $1,195

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 56.1%

Unemployment rate: 3.8%


13. New York, New York

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Brian Kinney/Shutterstock

Median rent: $3,000

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 49.3%

Unemployment rate: 4.1%


T12. Glendale, California

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trekandshoot/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,950

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 39.6%

Unemployment rate: 4.7%


T12. Jersey City, New Jersey

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,250

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 56.9%

Unemployment rate: 4.4%


10. Omaha, Nebraska

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Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,350

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 57.9%

Unemployment rate: 3.4%


9. Irving, Texas

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Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,950

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 67%

Unemployment rate: 4.0%


8. Nashville, Tennessee

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,695

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 57.3%

Unemployment rate: 2.7%


7. San Diego, California

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Lowe Llaguno/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,723

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 47.5%

Unemployment rate: 3.5%


6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,700

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 54.3%

Unemployment rate: 2.9%


5. St. Paul, Minnesota

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Sam Wagner/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,700

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 51.7%

Unemployment rate: 3.1%


4. San Francisco, California

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Daniel Avram/Shutterstock

Median rent: $3,410

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 64.2%

Unemployment rate: 2.6%


T3. Irvine, California

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Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,143

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 54.2%

Unemployment rate: 3.1%


T3. Boston, Massachusetts

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Median rent: $2,600

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 51.7%

Unemployment rate: 3.3%


2. Austin, Texas

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f11photo/Shutterstock

Median rent: $1,700

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 54.9%

Unemployment rate: 3.0%


1. Madison, Wisconsin

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Sean Pavone/Business Insider

Median rent: $1,600

Renters who spend 30% of income or less on rent: 51.1%

Unemployment rate: 2.6%