These 10 Incredible East Coast Cities Are Way Cheaper Than NYC

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  • All five of the cities on the East Coast with the lowest cost of living are located in the South.
  • From Massachusetts to Florida, there are a ton of great cities on the East Coast that won't break the bank.

These cities are great alternatives to NYC.

If you're looking for an affordable East Coast city to live in, you'll want to check out these five incredible options. From Boston to Pittsburgh, there are a ton of great cities on the East Coast that won't break the bank. To find the best places to live on the East Coast on a budget, we used Numbeo's Cost of Living Index, Rent Index, Groceries Index, and Local Purchasing Power Index for each city on our list below. 

These ratings are relative to New York City, which means that for New York City, each index is 100%. For example, if a given city has a Rent Index of 48, it means that on average the costs in that city are 52% less expensive than in NYC, and your checking account balance will go further. 

The Local Purchasing Power Index shows relative purchasing power in buying goods and services based on the average net salary in that city. If domestic purchasing power is 40, this means the inhabitants of that city with an average salary can afford to buy, on average, 60% fewer goods and services than NYC residents with an average salary. The higher the number, the further your money goes in that city. Below are five popular East Coast cities and five East Coast cities with the lowest cost of living.

East Coast cities with the lowest cost of living

1. Raleigh, North Carolina

Cost of living index: 65.09

Rent index: 44.79

Groceries index: 65.44

Local purchasing power index: 149.15

2. Charlotte, North Carolina

Cost of living index: 69.89

Rent index: 48.92

Groceries index: 68.47

Local purchasing power index: 137.54

3. Orlando, Florida 

Cost of living index: 70.10

Rent index: 47.56

Groceries index: 65.82

Local purchasing power index: 151.90

4. Jacksonville, Florida

Cost of living index: 71.57

Rent index: 36.09

Groceries index: 76.91

Local purchasing power index: 142.44

5. Atlanta, Georgia

Cost of living index: 72.46

Rent index: 48.47

Groceries index: 68.41

Local purchasing power index: 136.94

All five of the cities with the lowest cost of living on the East Coast are in the south, with two cities in Florida and two in North Carolina. 

1. Boston, Massachusetts

Cost of living index: 86.72

Rent index: 71.76

Groceries index: 84.13

Local purchasing power index: 109.03

2. Miami, Florida

Cost of living index: 80.06

Rent index: 66.77

Groceries index: 79.28

Local purchasing power index: 95.85

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cost of living index: 78.26

Rent index: 46.40

Groceries index: 79.67

Local purchasing power index: 137.17

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cost of living index: 77.26

Rent index: 35.77

Groceries index: 84.76

Local purchasing power index: 121.13

5. Baltimore, Maryland

Cost of living index: 75.90

Rent index: 46.55

Groceries index: 79.43

Local purchasing power index: 133.69

When thinking of iconic East Coast cities, New York City is probably at the top of everyone's list. With its incredible skyline, bustling streets, and world-class cultural attractions, NYC is one of the most desirable places to live on the East Coast. But while it may seem like a dream destination for many people, it can also be an expensive city to call home. Luckily, there are other East Coast cities that offer many of the same great amenities as NYC, but at a fraction of the cost. 

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