South Bend, Indiana has been crowned the most affordable city in the United States. This award is right on time for people fleeing the skyrocketing expense of living in America’s largest cities. South Bend has emerged as a model of affordability, offering residents a cost-effective living without compromising quality or community spirit.

According to a recent report from, South Bend’s median home value is $169,000, more than $200,000 below the national average. This impressive statistic entices homebuyers to consider this Indiana jewel a place to plant roots. Additionally, the city’s median rent is $935. This cost is starkly lower than the national average of $1,268, allowing its residents greater financial freedom and flexibility.

Additional Factors Influencing The City’s Low Cost Of Living

Other factors besides affordable housing contribute to South Bend’s low cost of living. The report also highlights that the overall cost of living in South Bend is 18 percent lower than the national average. This means necessities, including groceries, clothing, transportation, and utilities, are more affordable. Plus, day-to-day expenses are more manageable, allowing residents to enjoy a higher standard of living.

South Bend’s job market received a B rating, with the commute earning an A. These factors play a significant role in the overall satisfaction of the residents. Locals can enjoy a balanced work-life without the usual hassles of traffic and long travel times to work. However, it’s important to note that South Bend scored a C for weather and only a D+ for crime and safety. These scores indicate that while the cost of living is low, some areas need improvement.

While South Bend leads the way in affordability, it’s not the only city making waves in the cost of living category. Naperville, Illinois and Carmel, Indiana have also been recognized for their favorable living conditions. Nonetheless, South Bend’s leap to the top spot in 2024 shows its ongoing commitment to providing its citizens with a cost-effective and enriching lifestyle.

How To Spend A Day In South Bend

A trip is ideal for those who wish to learn more about South Bend and experience what this city has to offer firsthand. Start your day in the city with a full breakfast at a local favorite, the South Bend Farmers Market Café. The café serves fluffy pancakes and a delicious omelet cooked with locally sourced ingredients. Once nourished, visit the Studebaker National Museum to learn about South Bend’s history. Here, vintage car fans will be enthralled by a collection of classic automobiles. These include horse-drawn carriages and sleek Studebaker models that trace the growth of American automobile history.

Next, head to the nearby History Museum to explore the past more deeply. As you visit the Oliver Mansion, a 19th-century estate offering a glimpse into South Bend’s industrial heyday, take a walk through time. The guided tours provide fascinating insights into the lives of the Oliver family and the city’s development. For lunch, venture downtown to Chicory Café, a cozy spot that offers Creole-inspired dishes like jambalaya and po’ boys, perfect for satisfying midday cravings.

From there, you can have a refreshing walk along the East Race Waterway, an artificial whitewater course in the city’s center. Kayaking enthusiasts and adventure seekers can navigate its rapids or walk along its banks, enjoying the scenic beauty. Afterward, visit the University of Notre Dame campus, a must-see for visitors. Explore the breathtaking Basilica of the Sacred Heart, boasting stunning murals and stained glass windows. Wrap up your exploration by enjoying a relaxing meal at LaSalle Grill, a downtown favorite known for its upscale American cuisine. Savor expertly crafted dishes like filet mignon or roasted duck breast, accompanied by a carefully curated wine list.