10 Cheapest Places To Live in California

Are you searching for the most affordable places to live in California? Look no further. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the top ten budget-friendly cities in the Golden State. Whether you’re relocating, seeking a change of scenery, or just want to explore cheaper living options, our carefully curated list will help you find the ideal place to call home.

1. Bakersfield

Population: Approximately 393,000
Median Home Price: $263,000
Cost of Living Index: 90.7

Bakersfield, located in the heart of California, offers an affordable lifestyle without compromising on quality. With a low cost of living, you can enjoy a comfortable life in this vibrant city. The city boasts a variety of job opportunities, excellent schools, and a thriving cultural scene.

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2. Fresno

Population: Around 538,000
Median Home Price: $246,000
Cost of Living Index: 89.1

Fresno, nestled in the Central Valley, is another budget-friendly gem. The city’s lower housing costs make it an attractive destination for newcomers. You’ll also find a flourishing job market and an array of recreational activities to enjoy.

3. Modesto

Population: Roughly 215,000
Median Home Price: $293,000
Cost of Living Index: 94.0

Modesto is known for its small-town charm and affordability. The city offers a welcoming community, making it an ideal place to raise a family. With a lower median home price and a reasonable cost of living, Modesto provides an excellent quality of life.

4. Stockton

Population: Approximately 312,000
Median Home Price: $320,000
Cost of Living Index: 98.6

Located on the San Joaquin River, Stockton offers a diverse cultural scene and an affordable lifestyle. The city’s rich history and recreational options, such as the Haggin Museum and miles of waterfront, make it an attractive choice for those on a budget.

5. Oxnard

Population: Around 208,000
Median Home Price: $547,000
Cost of Living Index: 137.2

While Oxnard’s median home price is higher than other cities on this list, it still provides relative affordability within the context of California. The city’s pleasant climate, stunning beaches, and proximity to Los Angeles make it a desirable place to live, even if it comes at a slightly higher cost.

6. Riverside

Population: Roughly 330,000
Median Home Price: $383,000
Cost of Living Index: 101.2

Riverside, situated in the Inland Empire, offers a blend of affordability and a thriving job market. The city’s historic downtown, parks, and cultural attractions ensure a high quality of life for its residents.

7. Fontana

Population: Approximately 216,000
Median Home Price: $405,000
Cost of Living Index: 107.6

Fontana is another Inland Empire city that provides budget-conscious living. The city’s affordable housing and lower cost of living make it an excellent choice for those looking for a balance between city life and affordability.

8. Palmdale

Population: Around 156,000
Median Home Price: $335,000
Cost of Living Index: 102.5

Palmdale, located in the Antelope Valley, is a hidden gem for budget-conscious individuals. The city’s lower housing costs and beautiful desert landscapes offer a unique living experience within California.

9. Lancaster

Population: Roughly 157,000
Median Home Price: $333,000
Cost of Living Index: 102.0

Lancaster, adjacent to Palmdale, offers a similar cost of living and affordable housing. The two cities are known for their community spirit and recreational activities, making them desirable places to reside.

10. Moreno Valley

Population: Approximately 207,000
Median Home Price: $365,000
Cost of Living Index: 105.2

Moreno Valley, located in Riverside County, wraps up our list of affordable places in California. With its lower housing costs and a variety of amenities, this city offers a high quality of life within a budget.


California may have a reputation for high living costs, but there are indeed budget-friendly options throughout the state. Our list of the ten most affordable places to live in California provides a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision when considering a move. From charming Bakersfield to the picturesque landscapes of Palmdale and Lancaster, these cities offer a diverse range of opportunities without breaking the bank. Explore your options and discover your ideal place to call home in the Golden State.

8 thoughts on “10 Cheapest Places To Live in California”

  1. I live in Riverside California and it is not a good place to live or buy. It’s very expensive to live here. Price of housing is ridiculous.

  2. This must be old research, population and prices on homes are all wrong!! In the cities in riverside, moreno valley???? I live here been looking for a home to buy. I could avoid buying a home with those prices you gave out.


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