The state of Ohio is unique and diverse, dotted with quaint small towns, breathtaking views, and vibrant cities. Toledo sits on the western shores of Lake Erie, just 60 miles south of Detroit, and 115 miles west of Cleveland. It's location between these cultural epicenters makes Toledo a prime spot to call home, away from the big city, yet close enough for a quick weekend getaway. Toledo's proximity to the lake also makes it the perfect place for water sports, relaxation, and scenic routes. According to WTOL, Toledo ranks 5th as one of America's cities with the lowest cost of living

Here's what makes Toledo so affordable: 

Cost of Living, Explained

When considering a move, it's important to factor cost of living into your decision. Just as it sounds, the cost of living indicates how expensive (or inexpensive) it is to live in different areas of a state, country, or region. Generally, cost of living indexes are based on a national average of 100. If a data point is lower than 100, it indicates that feature is less expensive than it is in the rest of the country. If it's higher than 100, the data is indicating that the feature is more expensive than the national average. 

Cost Living Toledo Ohio

According to AreaVibes, Toledo's cost of living index is 87, compared to 91 for the state of Ohio. This means that it is cheaper to live in Toledo than it is to live in other parts of the United States, and slightly less expensive than the majority of Ohio.

The Toledo Breakdown

Toledo's housing costs represent its largest diversion from the national average, with an index of 50. This is good news, indicating that housing in the city is very affordable. Data from BestPlaces demonstrates that monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Toledo is, on average, $520 less expensive than national rent prices. 

When considering rent costs for both studios and one bedrooms, each housing situation is over 50% cheaper than their counter parts in other cities. This, coupled with a slightly lower index for utilities (90), these numbers provide residents with a significant advantage when it comes to funding other costs. For example, the goods and services index for Toledo is higher than the national average. Goods and services refer to non-essential--though certainly desirable--amenities such as entertainment, personal grooming services, and hygiene products. Toledo's index for these items is 112, indicating a slightly higher price points. However, the overall affordability of housing alleviates some of the strain that these elevated prices could put on families and households.

Groceries, transportation, and health care, all hover around the national average, indexing at 96, 98, and 102 respectively. While residents don't benefit from lower costs in these areas, prices are still comparable to other cities around the country, and near by. More specifically, staples such as beef, milk, and beer are slightly cheaper in Toledo than in the average American city. Conversely, gasoline, dentist visits and certain medications tend to cost slightly more. 

The Takeaway

The financial benefits of living in Toledo are largely reflected in the cities low housing costs, in which both rent and home prices are significantly lower than the national average. This low index is the primary cause for Toledo's overall score of 87, 13 points below the national average. As such, other goods, services, essentials, and amenities set at average or slightly elevated prices are less of a financial burden when compared to other areas, as residents are able to spend more outside of their housing costs. Overall, moving to Toledo could be a great option for families considering financial benefits.