most affordable states to rent

How does the cost of renting a modest two-bedroom home compare across the United States?

Compare rental figures and the hourly wage needed to afford rents in each state.

Hover over each state to see its housing wage, median income and fair market rent (FMR)

Our figures are based on the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) ‘Out of Reach’ report. NLIHC use a two-bedroom home as the standard for assessing rents as it is the most commonly rented property type.

The most expensive states in which to lease a home are Hawaii and California, where you’d need to earn more than three times the minimum wage to make rent. The most affordable states are Arkansas and Kentucky, where rents are half that of the most expensive states!

For more analysis read our article 'The Great American Rent Divide: Why & How Rents Are Diverging Nationwide'

Lowest Cost States to Rent In

This scale shows housing wage from highest to lowest

  • High
  • Low
  • Fair Market Rent: the gross rent for a modest two-bedroom property that a new tenant could expect to pay per month.
  • Median Income: median monthly income based on data from 2008 – 2012 American Community Survey.
  • Housing Wage: based on a 40-hour week, the hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom property.