Commuting in the Midwest is best, says a new study from SmartAsset. Four of the 10 metros with the best commutes in the U.S. are in this region.
Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Cleveland made the top 10, but the Charlotte, N.C. metro was number one in the ranking since it is the most affordable for local commuters. Census Bureau data show average savings of roughly $1,200 per year for residents living outside of the city, but within the metro area. SmartAsset noted a few surprises found in the study: housing costs are more expensive in metro areas than in their major cities; only three of the top 10 have more expensive housing in the city center.
Most people are faced with a trade-off when choosing where to live. You could move closer to the city center where most of the jobs are but face a more expensive mortgage and more cramped housing options or move outside of the city and enjoy more space but endure a longer commute. For every city and metro area, the math breaks down a little bit differently. In some city centers the cost of living is not much higher than the outlying metro area while some outlying metro areas have excellent commute options.