It's hardly a secret that renting can get expensive very quickly, especially if you live in bustling metropolitan areas like Chicago, San Francisco, or New York City. However, there are areas of the country where rent is significantly cheaper than it is in the bigger cities.

That's where the experts at Home Stratosphere come in. Their team evaluated the rental conditions across all 50 states in the US to determine what regions are the friendliest to renters based on a variety of factors.

The rankings considered several key metrics, including:

  • Rental Vacancy Rate
  • Renter Occupied Percentage
  • Gross Median House Rent
  • Yearly Rent Change Percentage
  • Average Monthly Wage
  • Rent to Income Ratio
  • Cost of Living Index

West Virginia Tops the List:

Iowa did indeed make the top five most budget-friendly locations for renters. That portion of the list, however, was led by West Virginia, which has a remarkable 85/100 score:

West Virginia leads with a score of 85, boasting a 7.1% rental vacancy rate and 25.5% renter-occupied homes. With a median rent of $795 and a 3.7% increase from 2021-2022, residents earn an average monthly wage of $4,425, dedicating 18% to rent. Its Cost of Living Index is a favorable 89.3, below the national average, indicating a relatively affordable living standard. - per Home Stratosphere

Photo Credit: monkeybusinessimages, GettyStock
Photo Credit: monkeybusinessimages, GettyStock
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Iowa is the Fourth Most Budget-Friendly State for Renters:

Iowa had a composite score of 80.6 out of 100; highly favorable and good enough for fourth place on Home Stratosphere's survey:

Iowa ranks fourth with a score of 80.6, having a 5% rental vacancy rate and $891 median rent. With 28% renter-occupied homes, rents rose by 5.2% over the year. Residents earn an average of $4,776 monthly, allocating 18.7% for rent. Its Cost of Living Index sits at 89.9, just below the national average. - per Home Stratosphere

 

The Top Ten Most Budget-Friendly States for Renters:

The Most Budget-Friendly States for Renters. Photo Credit: Home Stratosphere
The Most Budget-Friendly States for Renters. Photo Credit: Home Stratosphere
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The Top Ten Least Budget-Friendly States for Renters:

The Least Budget-Friendly States for Renters. Photo Credit: Home Stratosphere
The Least Budget-Friendly States for Renters. Photo Credit: Home Stratosphere
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Topping the list for the least budget-friendly states for renters was Hawaii, who netted a pitiful score of 40 out of 100:

The paradise state ranks 50, the lowest among all states in affordability with a final score of 40. High rents averaging $1813 meet a towering Cost of Living Index of 181.5. Residents allocate a striking 35.40% of their income to rent. - per Home Stratosphere

Only one spot lower than Hawaii was California, unsurprisingly:

Famous for Hollywood and its beaches, the Golden State scores 47. A median rent of $1870 and a Cost of Living Index of 139.7 paints a pricey picture. - per Home Stratosphere

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The other two states in the Tri-States, Illinois and Wisconsin, didn't crack the top ten of either list. View the full methodology of Home Stratosphere's study here.

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