In expensive U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco, you may need to make well above the national median income in order to afford to live comfortably. But in other places, like Fargo, North Dakota, for example, the average American family can thrive on a lot less.
That's according to personal-finance website SmartAsset, which conducted a study to find the best cities in which you can live well on $55,000 a year. Researchers used nine metrics to assemble the ranking, including average commute time, median housing costs, median household income and the overall unemployment rate.
The city with the best average ranking in each category received an overall score of 100 and the city with the worst ranking received a 0. Capital cities are a good bet, the site concludes, and California is not.
Here are the five best U.S. cities to live on $55,000 a year: