SmartAsset set out to find the best cities for renters based on cost burdens, rental units available, amenities and other factors. Madison, Wisconsin came out on top. But Boston was not far behind.

We included in our analysis the percent of renters who are rent-cost burdened, the percent of housing stock dedicated to renters, entertainment establishment density, crime rate per 100,000 residents, average commute time, unemployment rate and eviction rate. Check out our data and methodology section below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our ranking.

Key Findings

  • Many renters are rent cost-burdened – Even across cities in our top 10 it is typical to see more than 40% of renters spending at least 30% of their income on rent. Even in Irving, Texas, which has the lowest share of rent-cost burdened renters, over a third of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent. In Hialeah, Florida, which has the highest percentage of rent cost-burdened renters, around 55% of renters spend over 30% of their income on rent.
  • The Midwest is a good area for renters – The Midwest leads the way in our top 10 with four representatives. Madison, Wisconsin takes first, followed by Lincoln, Nebraska in fourth and the Twin Cities in seventh and eighth.
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