RANKED: The 50 most affordable small towns in America

Booker TexasGoogle Maps91.1% of homes are affordable in Booker, Texas.

We recently determined the most affordable small town in every state. But we wanted to know which towns are the most affordable in the whole country — period — so we took another look at the data.

To find the most affordable small towns in the US, we looked at towns with populations between 1,000 and 10,000 whose households spend no more than 30% of their annual income on housing costs. We looked at the average cost of three types of housing — owned houses with a mortgage, owned houses without a mortgage, and rentals — and took a weighted average of these by the proportion of each type of home in the town. Then we ranked the towns.

With eight affordable towns, Louisiana made the list more than any other state. Texas came in second with seven towns.

Click here to read more about our methodology.

50. Owyhee, Nevada

90.3% of homes are affordable

As part of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation -- which covers parts of Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon -- Owyhee is home to the Shoshone and Paiute tribes. In keeping with their history, farming and ranching remain important industries for those who live on the reservation.

49. Daleville, Virginia

90.4% of homes are affordable

In Daleville, sustainability is a priority. The town features Energy Star- and Earthcraft-certified homes, encourages walking in place of driving to get around town, and offers plenty of green space for residents. Daleville also hosts several community events, including concerts, a farmer's market, and The Virginia Beer & Wine Festival.

48. Beaver Dam, Arizona

90.4% of homes are affordable

Though isolated from the rest of Arizona, Beaver Dam lies close to the Grand Canyon National Park and is only an hour's drive from Las Vegas. One hundred per cent of mortgages are affordable for residents, who earn a median household income of $US40,982.

47. Byng, Oklahoma

90.4% of homes are affordable

Byng is about an hour and a half southeast of Oklahoma City. Unemployment in the town is low, with many residents leaning on the small-business sector as a supplier of jobs. The commercial banking industry is the biggest employer in the area.

46. Fort Washakie, Wyoming

90.4% of homes are affordable

Fort Washakie lies within the Wind River Indian Reservation, which is shared by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes. The town takes its name from an eponymous Army base nearby, named after Shoshone chief Washakie in 1878. Though now defunct, it was the first military camp ever named after a Native American.

45. Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah

90.5% of homes are affordable

Oljato-Monument Valley is full of Native American history, and Navajo spirit tours are given throughout the area. The region is full of film history as well, as Monument Valley has been the site of more wild-west films than any other area in the country. An incredible 100% of mortgages are affordable, and the cost of living is 28.4% lower than the national average.

42. Booker, Texas

91.1% of homes are affordable

Now located on Texas's northernmost border, Booker started as La Kemp, Oklahoma, before moving seven miles south in 1919. An oil exploration in 1949 helped grow the town's population to 1,500, and it's still home to around 1,315 people today.

41. Tsaile, Arizona

91.1% of homes are affordable

Located on a Navajo Reservation, Tsaile hosts Diné College, the first college created and run by Native Americans, which is still tribe-controlled today. In addition to typical majors, the school also offers degree programs in Navajo studies and tribal management. The most popular occupations in Tsaile include building and grounds maintenance; drafting, engineering, and mapping technicians; and accountants and auditors.

40. Crosby, North Dakota

91.2% of homes are affordable

Located within shouting distance of Canada, Crosby is often referred to as 'the end of the earth.' However, the agriculture-dominated town proves to be just the beginning. Crosby residents earn a median household income of $US51,012, own an abundance of retail businesses, and participate in a host of winter sports, from hockey to curling.

39. Sarepta, Louisiana

91.2% of homes are affordable

Fifty miles north of Shreveport sits Sarepta, a small town of around 1,021 people that's focused on family life. Country singer Trace Adkins, best known for his hits 'You're Gonna Miss This' and 'Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,' was born and raised in Sarepta, and continues to donate to the community.

38. Jal, New Mexico

91.2% of homes are affordable

In Jal, the most popular occupations are truck drivers, sales workers, supervisors, and vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics. While in town, residents and visitors alike can stop by the iconic D-Bar Cafe for both burgers and Tex-Mex.

37. Barrow, Alaska

91.3% of homes are affordable

The northernmost city in the United States, Barrow is primarily made up of Iñupiat natives. The Iñupiat Heritage Center tells their story, detailing how they built whaling villages and survived some of the harshest winters in the world. Today, Barrow remains a thriving community, home to several academic organisations, including the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium, which studies arctic science.

36. South Vacherie, Louisiana

91.4% of homes are affordable

With tree-lined streets and plantation homes, South Vacherie proves to be one of the most picturesque places in Louisiana. The town is filled with historic buildings, including the St. Joseph Plantation and the Laura Plantation. The average household income is $US64,524, and 100% of rental homes are affordable here.

35. Healy, Alaska

91.4% of homes are affordable

Only 11 miles from Denali National Park and Preserve, Healy offers several lodging and dining options for park visitors, creating a strong tourism industry in the town. However, more than tourism, coal mining in nearby Usibelli Coal Mine makes up most of Healy's livelihood.

34. Big Lake, Texas

91.5% of homes are affordable

Expansion is on the horizon for Big Lake, whose local economy saw immense growth in recent years due to the oil industry. Though only two companies called Big Lake home in 2009, the town now boasts over 20, including a doughnut shop, thrift store, and antique shop.

33. Eunice, New Mexico

91.6% of homes are affordable

Oil drives the local economy in the friendly town of Eunice, where the unemployment rate currently sits at just 3.4%. There's plenty to do in this 2,973-person town as well, such as taking a zumba class at the activity center, cooling off at the local pool, or perusing the public library.

32. Ethete, Wyoming

91.7% of homes are affordable

Located on the Wind River Indian Reservation, the name Ethete is derived from an Arapahoe word meaning 'good.' The town is also home to the Wyoming Indian Schools, which integrate Native American culture with the larger community. The most common occupations here include work at supermarkets and hotels, and jobs in the oil and gas industry.

31. White Deer, Texas

91.7% of homes are affordable

Originally named Paton, then Whig, this town became White Deer in 1889. In the early 1900s, oil booms spurred growth to the local economy, but eventually slowed. However, growth picked back up around the late 1950s as White Deer became a shipping hub for livestock and grain produced in the area. Today, the population sits steady at around 1,000 people.

29. Thompson, North Dakota

91.9% of homes are affordable

Thompson, known as 'A Jewel on the Prairie,' was founded in 1881 and is home to around 1,013 people. The town is known among residents for the S&T Quick Stop, the local gas station and convenience store, and also the location of the annual Thompson Trot 5K, which is held during the weekend-long town celebration 'Thompson Days.'

28. Wright, Wyoming

92.1% of homes are affordable

Wright's cost of living is very low, as the median household income in Wright is $US80,482, compared with the state average of $US54,901. The coal mining industry is prosperous in the area and employs the majority of Wright workers.

27. Cecilia, Louisiana

92.3% of homes are affordable

Cecilia was originally known by the Spanish as La Punta until it was settled by the French and eventually renamed Cecilia, after St. Cecilia. Today, the town of about 1,300 still retains its Cajun heritage, with more than 5.5% of the population still speaking either French Creole or Cajun languages, or both.

26. New Sharon, Iowa

92.7% of homes are affordable

Describing itself as 'way out in the middle of everywhere,' this town in Iowa's Mahaska County sits within 20 miles of Grinnell, Pella, and Oskaloosa. With a median household income of $US54,048 and a cost of living 19% below the national average, New Sharon is an incredibly affordable place to live.

25. Hampden-Sydney, Virginia

92.9% of homes are affordable

Hampden-Sydney has its own college: Hampden-Sydney College, a small, private liberal arts college for men, which has been ranked one of the best private colleges and best value liberal arts colleges in America. The college gives the town a youthful vibe, as college students make up the majority of the residents in the area.

24. Fayetteville, Alabama

93% of homes are affordable

An hour south of Birmingham, Fayetteville is actually named after a town in Tennessee from which early residents migrated. Employing over 33% of residents, retail is the most popular industry here, followed by manufacturing, which employs 15% of residents.

23. Harlan, Indiana

93% of homes are affordable

Two towns, Harlan and Maysville, eventually morphed into one. At $US72,957, the median household income is high for the area. Every year, Harlan residents celebrate the 'Harlan Days' community festival, which features a rodeo, car show, and huge raffle.

21. Westfield Center, Ohio

93.2% of homes are affordable

Known once upon a time as LeRoy, Westfield Center was later named for Westfield, Massachusetts, the hometown of one of the first landowners of this Ohio town. Laid out like a New England settlement, Westfield Center gets a lot of financial stability, and jobs, from local insurance company Westfield Insurance.

20. Kalida, Ohio

93.2% of homes are affordable

Kalida is a Native American word meaning 'beautiful,' and it suits the town perfectly. The town is home to a lush, green community park and great food festivals, and it is a big proponent of recycling. Kalida started out as a farm and mill town, and to this day relies heavily on its productive farms for produce and work.

19. Joanna, South Carolina

93.2% of homes are affordable

With a population of about 1,600, Joanna is Laurens County's largest unincorporated town. Joanna was named for the wife of the owner of a prominent local company, Joanna Manufacturing Company (the company was named for her, too). The cost of living in Joanna is 20.2% lower than the national average.

17. Stowell, Texas

93.4% of homes are affordable

Oil was discovered in Stowell in 1941, leading to an 'oil rush' for those looking to cash in on black gold. The median household income in the town of about 1,500 people is $US63,096.

16. Estherwood, Louisiana

The pontoon bridge to Estherwood

93.5% of homes are affordable

This is another town that grew, both in population and prosperity, by the railroad built through it. The average household income, $US60,833, goes far in Estherwood, where the cost of living and the unemployment rate are both lower than the US average.

15. Mineral Wells, West Virginia

93.8% of homes are affordable

Mineral Wells, population 1,574, is sometimes also spelled as 'Mineralwells.' It enjoys a humble yet amicable small-town life along the little Kanawha River. For big city life, residents need only drive a couple of hours west to Columbus Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is also less than three hours away.

14. Bevil Oaks, Texas

93.9% of homes are affordable

Incorporated in 1963, Bevil Oaks got its name by combining Bevil Acres and River Oaks, two local subdivisions. The town relies on the 'Golden Triangle' -- the area formed by Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur -- for economic prosperity, as this area is rich in oil.

13. Ferrum, Virginia

94.2% of homes are affordable

Ferrum is also home to the eponymous Ferrum College, which was named one of US News' best regional colleges in the south this year. Ferrum students make up the majority of the population in the town, and go on to lucrative careers primarily in business, management and marketing, and health care.

11. Amelia, Louisiana

94.3% of homes are affordable

Amelia is a hub for oil and gas, an industry which relies on nearby rigs and maintenance and repair operations, many of which are conducted out of Amelia-based businesses. Fishing is also big in Amelia, and many participate in the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in neighbouring Morgan City.

10. West Hammond, New Mexico

94.4% of homes are affordable

The oil and gas industry is one of the biggest in West Hammond; 4.2% of jobs in the area are created by this sector. Corporate and construction positions are also plentiful; these high-paying jobs (the median household income is $US93,155) coupled with reasonably priced homes makes for a low cost of living here.

9. Skidmore, Texas

A photo of historical Skidmore, taken sometime before 1919

94.6% of homes are affordable

The railroad built through Skidmore boosted the economy through trade, new businesses, and new residents; today the town has a little more than 1,000 people living there. While an average 94.6% of homes overall are affordable, 100% of rental homes are affordable.

8. Pierre Part, Louisiana

94.6% of homes are affordable

A local journalist in Pierre Part calls the community 'the actual hometown of real swamp people.' Residents of Pierre Part are predominantly of French ancestry, descending from the 17th century Acadians who settled in the area. The median household income for the town of about 2,971 is $US66,042.

7. Milton, Louisiana

94.9% of homes are affordable

Milton is a part of the Lafayette, Louisiana, parish. High schoolers in Milton attend Carencro High School in Lafayette, a public school that originated as a one-room school house in the 1870s, but which now has more than 1,000 students enrolled in grades nine through 12.

6. Iraan, Texas

The 'Dinny the Dinosaur' sculpture in Alley Oop Park

94.9% of homes are affordable

Iraan is 'remote but remarkable,' and it sees a surprising amount of tourism for such a small town. Visitors make stops at the Alley Oop Park Museum, full of 'Indian artifacts, fossils, (and) historical artifacts.' The cost of living in Iraan is a whopping 24.1% lower than the national average.

5. Hackberry, Louisiana

95.1% of homes are affordable

Hackberry sits on the bayou about two and a half hours west of Baton Rouge. The Cajun country band, The Hackberry Ramblers, hail from here. Many people get around by boat and make livings off the plentiful hunting and fishing opportunities in the area.

4. Tornado, West Virginia

97.6% of homes are affordable

Also known as Upper Falls, where the median household income is $US69,563, Tornado took on its meteorological name when the first postmaster was appointed in 1881. The town is home to a number of beautiful, green spaces, like Meadowbrook Park (pictured), and the Big Bend Golf Course.

3. Lawtell, Louisiana

97.8% of homes are affordable

With nearly 100% of housing considered affordable, Lawtell is a great place to buy a home without breaking the bank. The most popular occupations here are manufacturing, agriculture, and retail trade, and the average median household income is $US50,362.

2. Waterflow, New Mexico

A Navajo rug shop in Waterflow, New Mexico

98.1% of homes are affordable

Waterflow is a historically Navajo town; today more than 42% of residents identify as American Indian. Sitting between two major power plants, Waterflow is a great place for those working in the energy industry to live.

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