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25 Safest and Cheapest Cities To Live in the South


  • Average monthly expenditures: $2,399
  • Average rent: $2,480
  • Violent crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 2.59
  • Property crime rate (per 1,000 residents): 19.12
  • Livability score (out of 100): 86

Methodology: To find the safest and cheapest cities to live in the South, GOBankingRates analyzed cities within the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Lousiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia. The top 10 most populated cities within each state were analyzed for a variety of factors including: (1) grocery cost of living index, (2) healthcare cost of living index, (3) utilities cost of living index, (4) transportation cost of living index and (5) miscellaneous cost of living index, all sourced from Sperlings BestPlaces; (6) average expenditure costs, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey; (7) December 2023 average rent cost, sourced from Zillow Observed Rental Index; (8) livability index, as sourced from AreaVibes; (9) overall safety index, (10) property crime rate per 1,000 residents and (11) violent crime rate per 1,000 residents, sourced from NeighborhoodScout; and (12) total population, as sourced from the US Census American Consumer Survey. The cost of living indexes were multiplied by the national average expenditure costs to find the average expenditure costs within each city. All cities needed to have all data points to qualify for this study. The livability index and the safety index were averaged for all the cities, and all cities with an average livability under 75 and an average safety index under 12 were removed, showcasing the places with cheaper than average cost of living and safer than average crime rates. The expenditure costs, rent cost, property crime rate, violent crime rate and livability index were scored and sorted to show the safest and cheapest places to live in the South. All data was collected and is up-to-date as of Feb. 1, 2024.

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