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10 U.S. States With the Lowest Cost of Living


While the state is known for its hot, dry climate, Texas is also home to some of the country's best beaches, which provide residents with an affordable way to beat the heat. As one of the largest states in the U.S., Texas offers some of the country's biggest cities, but it's also home to dozens of small towns for those looking for a slower pace of life. A large number of colleges and military operations allow Texas to maintain a strong, stable economy and also help bring more young people to the state.

In a 2010 list of the top youngest towns, Texas cities took five of the top 20 spots, reflecting the large number of families and college students scattered throughout the area. Colleges like Texas A&M University and the University of Texas influence the culture and arts of surrounding towns.

With a median home price at $130,000 and a median household income in the mid $50,000s, the city of San Antonio is among the nation's most affordable cities. Famous historical sites such as the Alamo, along with numerous bars and restaurants in the downtown Riverwalk area, make San Antonio a top spot for young people. For the pace of a larger city, both Houston and the Dallas-Ft. Worth area offer median family income of about $50,000, with single-family homes averaging less than $150,000.

When it comes to quality of life, it's hard to beat the quirky, creative atmosphere in Austin. In fact, residents maintain a grassroots campaign to "Keep Austin Weird," paying homage to the city's unique culture. As an example, during the summer months, among the highlights of Austin culture are sunset cruises on Lady Bird Lake downtown to view the nightly emergence of more than a million Mexican free-tail bats from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.