People & Places

Cedar Rapids ranks No. 8 for affordability, survey shows

Livability.com ranks most affordable places to live

A person walks across 2nd Avenue in the skywalk between 2nd and 3rd Street in downtown Cedar Rapids on Monday, December 23, 2013. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
A person walks across 2nd Avenue in the skywalk between 2nd and 3rd Street in downtown Cedar Rapids on Monday, December 23, 2013. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

CEDAR RAPIDS — In Cedar Rapids, the fifth season is free, but that’s not why the City of Five Seasons ranks high in a affordability review released this week.

Livability.com ranked Cedar Rapids No. 8 in its annual list of the 10 best affordable places to live, thanks to a reasonable cost of living, revitalization of downtown, strong economy and job opportunities and a variety of low cost things to do.

Livability.com’s 10 Best Affordable Places to Live, 2016

RankCity
1 Huntsville, Ala.
2 Bismarck, N.D.
3 Rochester, Minn.
4 Round Rock, Texas
5 Sioux Falls, S.D.
6 Provo, Utah
7 Greeley, Colo.
8 Cedar Rapids
9 Holland, Mich.
10 Bloomington, Ill.

“Cedar Rapids is an affordable city that you’d actually want to live in,” according to the website that explores ‘what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit.’ “It offers income equality, robust entertainment options, favorable economic conditions and ideal consumer spending.”

Huntsville, Ala. came in first place, followed by Bismarck, N.D.; Rochester, Minn.; Round Rock, Texas; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Provo, Utah; Greeley, Colo.; Cedar Rapids; Holland, Mich.; and Bloomington, Ill.

The ranking compares average costs for housing, transportation, food and utilities against incomes to see how far a dollar goes. “Cheapest” is not the top criteria in the list, but rather costs balanced against other factors measuring quality of life.

Cedar Rapids was praised for renovating historical cultural venues, and adding “innovative restaurants, office spaces and housing.” A healthy economy is “rooted in agriculture, manufacturing and food processing” to help unemployment levels stay low, according to the analysis.

Residents spend less than 24 percent of annual income on housing and less than 3 percent on utilities, and have a median household income of $54,465, according to Livability. Low cost activities listed include attending a Cedar Rapids Kernels game, a stroll at Indian Creek Nature Center, and checking out artifacts at the Masonic Library & Museum.

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