Myth Busting: Midwestern Cities Don't Suck and Here are Five Reasons Why

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A new list from Apartment Guide shares the 10 most affordable cities in the United States, based on rents and average cost of living. The list is heavy on Midwestern cities, including Cincinnati (#10), Columbus (#4), and Dayton (#6), Ohio. I have lived in two of these cities, and Dayton is half-way between them. Another city on the list — #8, Louisville, KY — is an hour and a half south of Cincinnati. And #7, Indianapolis, is about an hour south of the Indiana city where I lived for a while.

Yes, they all are affordable (especially in contrast to the two east coast cities where I've lived, Washington, D.C., and New York City). And ultimately they're not bad places to be. I've been living back in my hometown of Cincinnati since September — the longest stretch since I left for college at 18 — and though I'm not quite ready to stay in the Midwest yet (Cali's calling, guys), I'm glad for the time I've spent back here recently. For the time I've spent in all these Midwestern cities, actually.

Too many of my East Coast friends (either born and raised or just transplanted there too long) can get a bit elitist about city life. The eternal trap of NYC is that people think their pursuits are inherently interesting by virtue of taking place there. I love big, coastal cities, but smaller, Midwest cities have their charms, too. And I'd like to clear up some of the myths I've heard about my hometowns.

Image: Getty Images

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