The most affordable U.S. city to live on a six-figure salary, revealed

Emily Rella

Living in a major US city presents its fair share of expenses and obstacles — from taxes, to employment rate to rent, to cost of living overall.

And with big tech hubs and industry havens continually drawing in renters and buyers by the groves (looking at you, San Francisco and New York City) the idea of living in a major U.S. city or metro can begin to look like a pipe dream unless you’re earning over six figures.

But according to a new study by Go Banking Rates, it looks like there are many (albeit, unexpected) metro areas and cities that are affordable on a six-figure salary — and the industries and infrastructure in these locales only seems to be increasing.

Number one on the list? Memphis, Tennessee

Dubbed the most affordable of the 50 largest U.S. cities on a $100,000 salary, this Southern spot has seen a job market increase by an impressive 2.1 percent in the last year alone, with a projected 36.6 percent future job growth increase in the next ten years.

The Greater Memphis area has seen a whopping $19 billion in recent, current or planned development, housing industry powerhouses like St. Jude and FedEx. 

Plus, with an enviable zero percent income tax rate and 3.5 percent unemployment rate, it’s no wonder that millennials and younger homeowners are flocking to Memphis to settle down, as President of the Downtown Memphis Commission, Jennifer Oswald, explained:

“Downtown Memphis’ residential population growth trend provides even more opportunity for our future, because our residents are decidedly younger than the general population. Fifty-four percent of our population are millennial or Gen Z - and that is highly attractive for industries looking to recruit talent.

Think you know the affordability of other major U.S. cities on a $100,000 salary? Check out the stats on these 15hot spots below, per Go Banking Rates: