Wilmington has been called the most affordable city in America. (City of Wilmington photo)

Wilmington called America’s most affordable city

Ken MammarellaCulture, Headlines

Wilmington has been called the most affordable city in America. (City of Wilmington photo)

Wilmington has been called the most affordable city in America. (City of Wilmington photo)

“Wilmington, Delaware, is the cheapest city to live in the U.S.,” some new number crunching has concluded.

Scholaroo reached that conclusion in ranking 151 cities in eight qualities to come up with the Best Places to Live. Wilmington “has one of the lowest rent costs, and the city has no sales taxes,” the site continued. It does have an income tax, and so does Delaware, a factor not considered in the rankings.

The site assigned affordability 18 points out of the 100 it gave out overall, and it includes four factors in affordability: home value (9 points), rent (4.5 points), cost of living (2.25 points for “transportation, gas, etc.”) and sales tax (2.25 points). Delaware does not have a general sales tax, but it does have a gross receipts tax.

Wilmington’s average home value is $302,174, according to Zillow, well below the national average of $346,270.

Rents are more difficulty to parse. As RentCafe puts it, “The cost of rent varies depending on several factors, including location, size, and quality.” That said, several sites give $1,506 as the average monthly rent for a Wilmington apartment.

The other 10 cities called most affordable are all in the Rust Belt, plus the border town of Brownsville, Texas.

How Wilmington ranked overall

Wilmington ranked 54th overall in the list. It is 19th in healthcare, 29th in education, 38th in quality of life, 77th in opportunity, 96th in infrastructure, 113th in the economy and 145th in crime and safety.

The No. 1 city on the list is Naples, Florida, a retirement haven that ranked dead last in affordability.

The website considered 47 factors, in eight categories. It did not release the sources of its data.

Crime and safety (10 points): property crimes, (1.18 points), robberies (1.18 points), murder (0.59 points), aggravated assault (1.18 points), violent crimes (0.59 points), burglary (1.18 points), larceny (0.59 points), motor vehicle theft (1.18 points), sexual assault (1.18 points), police officers (0.59 points) and firefighters (0.59 points). Yes, property crimes include burglary and larceny.

Affordability (18 points): home value (9 points), rent (4.5 points), cost of living (2.25 points) and sales taxes (2.25 points).

Economy (10 points): homeownership (2.86 points), poverty rate (1.43 points), median household income (5.71 points).

Quality of life (15 points): weather (1.15 points for the rate of change in the climate of the highest and lowest temperatures in 2022), air quality (2.31 points), water quality (2.31 points), movie theaters (1.15 points), museums (1.15 points), parks (2.31 points), zoos (1.15 points), restaurants (1.15 points), coffee shops (1.15 points) and malls (1.15 points)

Healthcare (10 points): hospitals (4 points), doctors (2 points), nurses (2 points), dentists (1 point) and people without health insurance (1 point)

Education (15 points): high school graduation rate (4.29 points), public schools (2.14 points), tuition at private schools, (2.14 points), public educational expenditures (2.14 points) and student/teacher ratio (2.14 points).

Opportunity (15 points): unemployment rate (3.33 points), self-employment (1.67 points), employment (3.33 points), people with a home office job (1.67 points), commute time on buses (1.67 points) and gender pay gap (3.33 points). Yes, unemployment and employment are two ways to look at the same issue.

Infrastructure (7 points): houses (1.75 points), bridge conditions (3.5 points) and airports (1.75 points).

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