Nearest big city: Little Rock, Hot Springs
Talk about affordable real estate. A typical home in Benton costs only $164,440, making this city the least expensive place to own a home on Money’s list of Best Places to Live this year. Moreover, the overall cost of living in Benton ranks among the lowest of any place we considered.
The town also has the lowest median household income of any city on Money’s list of Best Places to Live, but unemployment is low at just 4%.
Located halfway between Little Rock and Hot Springs, the town is home to the Gann Museum of Saline County, believed to be the only structure in the world constructed from bauxite, a sedimentary rock found locally that’s the world's main source of aluminum. There’s also the Royal Theatre, an entertainment venue on the National Register of Historic Places that recently showed playwright Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers as well as several flea markets that sell antiques and collectibles. — Daniel Bortz