Do You Live in America's Most Frugal City?

Did you know that Chicago spends way more on books than any major US city? It's true. Or that Philadelphia spends the most on electronics? Weird. Or that New Yorkers spend the most on clothes? Well that last bit isn't so surprising, I guess.

But which cities spend the least amount on everything? Drumroll please: The winner of the 2009 Frugal Fannie Award is:


It's a five-city tie! Portland, Brooklyn, San Diego, Indianapolis and Miami are the only five cities in the United States both spend less than the national average and have cut back on spending more sharply than the rest of the country. That's according to this super-cool map at Mint.com.

Not a surprising bunch, mostly. San Diego and Miami are both victims of their states' horrible bout of real estate implosion and credit crisis. Portland, a mecca for young Americans' crunchy-granola dreams, had the biggest jump in unemployment of any city in the country this summer (although Portland does spend more money than any other city on sporting goods). Brooklyn's eclectic melange of yuppies, free-loaders and artists (among others) has been famously blindsided by the downturn in New York, and Mint says they've cut back more -- 28 percent -- than any other city. And Indianapolis .. well, I can't really explain Indianapolis. At 8.6 percent city unemployment is below the national average. And real estate is cheaper in Indy that any other major city in America. Go figure.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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