FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Fort Wayne is number one when it comes to being the most affordable city in the country, according to a study byNiche. City leaders said that could lead to attracting new businesses and residents.
The research and data company has found that Fort Wayne has the nation’s lowest cost of living in a ranking that found Indiana has three of the top six most affordable cities to live.
“This was a surprise and we’re certainly honored to be in the position of being the most affordable city in the country,” said Mayor Tom Henry.
Of the 25 U.S. cities with the lowest cost of living released Wednesday, Fort Wayne ranked No. 1 above cities like Huntsville, Alabama (No. 4) and Topeka, Kansas (9). Toledo, Ohio was ranked No. 21.
Niche found that with its population of 255,784 and its a median rent of $661, Fort Wayne’s rent-to-income ratio is 0.2 to 1. With a median home value of $99,800, the city’s home value-to-income ratio is 2.3 to 1.
This comes as good news for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and its efforts to bring more businesses and people to Fort Wayne.
“The house that you can afford here is more affordable than those in larger cities,” said John Urbahns, Executive Vice President of Economic Development with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “It’s the same with the other amenities. There’s a value in using that as a recruitment tool.”
City leaders have made it clear that they want to increase Fort Wayne’s population to one million. They believe this new classification will help them achieve their goal. It’s something that would appeal to businesses, too.
“Just as an individual wants to get the best bang for their buck… so do businesses so it works both ways,” said Urbahns.”
The survey looked at cost of housing, condition of housing, food prices, and gas prices.
“Although our prices go up and down in the state on a pretty regular basis, they looked over a period of time for the stabilization and the pricing,” said Mayor Henry.
Mayor Henry says it’s just another example of the progress Fort Wayne has made.
“What’s nice is that Fort Wayne has continuously won one award after another,” said Mayor Henry. “I think that speaks volumes for our community.”
Evansville came in at No. 2 in Niche’s ranking with the same rent-to-income ratio as Fort Wayne and a home value-to-income ratio of 2.5 to 1. South Bend was ranked No. 6 and Indianapolis came in at No. 24.
Niche used data from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the rankings.
Below is Niche’s ranking of the 25 US cities with the lowest cost of living:
25. Little Rock, Arkansas
24. Indianapolis, Indiana
23. Amarillo, Texas
22. Mobile, Alabama
21. Toledo, Ohio
20. Tulsa, Oklahoma
19. Springfield, Illinois
18. Springfield, Missouri
17. Shreveport, Louisiana
16. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
15. Davenport, Iowa
14. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
13. Louisville, Kentucky
12. Wichita Falls, Texas
11. Abilene, Texas
10. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Topeka, Kansas
8. Rochester, Minnesota
7. Montgomery, Alabama
6. South Bend, Indiana
5. Wichita, Kansas
4. Huntsville, Alabama
3. Odessa, Texas
2. Evansville, Indiana
1. Fort Wayne, Indiana