- Average Monthly State Income: $4,480
- Average rent for a room: $1,190
- Population: 107,922
Lakeland sits almost 4% below the national cost of living, although its apartment rental price is in the top half of the cities in the study. People have discovered Lakeland’s secret, however, with its population growing 15.6% from 2010 to 2020, according to the US Census Bureau.
It’s not just retirees landing at Lakeland either. While 22.2% of the population is 65 and over, the 19.5% of residents under the age of 18 means there are plenty of young families.
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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates first determined (1) the average monthly wages in Q3 2021 for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics County Employment and Wages press release. GOBankingRates then (2) found cities in the selected states where the average April 2022 rent for a one-bedroom apartment, sourced from ApartmentList, was no more than 30% of the average monthly income of residents in the area. State (the housing budget guideline recommended by professionals); and (3) corresponding populations for each city, from the US Census Bureau. The cities included in the ranking had (4) an overall cost of living index, from Sperling’s Best Places, no more than 10% higher than the national average; and (5) habitability scores, sourced from Areavibes, greater than 65. All data was collected and is current as of May 11, 2022.