Are you considering moving to a lowest cost of living states in USA? Deciding on where to settle down largely depends on a number of factors—family, income, social circles, and job opportunities, to mention a few.
With the dawn of remote working and online ventures, many people have the liberty to choose where to reside depending on the quality of life they want rather than work opportunities.
For most Americans, the only reason they live in big cities is for job opportunities and not the quality of life. But these cities can be costly, and the cost of living may outweigh the draw cards.
What’s the Cost of Living?
The cost of living in America varies almost dramatically from one state to another. The cost of living in the dollar amount you need to sustain a particular lifestyle over a specified duration. This cost includes healthcare, housing, food, and taxes—,, so the price has a direct bearing on personal income.
Wall Street bases the cost of living on the US average of 100. A cost of living index below 100 means that the cost of living is below the national average, while a cost above 100 means that the cost of living is above the national average. That’s to say, the states with the lowest costs of living are the ones whose figures are furthest below 100.
Generally, most of the states with low costs of living are in the South, and those with the highest living costs are population clusters around the country’s largest cities. The few states with a large chunk of their population living in the countryside enjoy low living costs and vice versa. Here are a few unique factors that you can use to keep in mind.
Where you can live shrinks or expands with your disposable income. The average wage for different professions varies from state to state. The minimum wage of $7.25 is considered the national minimum in the USA—it’s the threshold for poverty. However, even the minimum wage can take you further in states with low living expenses than it can in states with high living expenses. Therefore, we advise that when considering your income, opt for a state who’s living expenses will leave you with something to save.
The average cost of housing in Mississippi is $556 for a one-bedroom apartment. The same unit will cost you a whopping $3,273 in San Francisco, almost six times costlier than Mississippi. If you’re in San Francisco and looking to save $2,500 per month, one of the surefire ways would be moving to Mississippi.
No matter where you live in the US, having a comprehensive medical cover is a basic necessity. If you can afford an insurance cover or pay privately, America generally has the best healthcare system for you. But if you can’t afford healthcare insurance, you will struggle to afford adequate care. Luckily, in states like Hawaii, the average monthly cost of healthcare premium is just $411. The same cover goes for $780 in Alaska.
Driving is relatively cheap in the US compared to most means of transport. if you’re living in the outskirts of the cities, it’s very normal to own a car. In metropolitan areas, using a personal car can be tricky considering the traffic. With that as a constant around the country, transportation cost still varies from one state to another. For instance, in California, the cost of transportation clocks $1,000 per month, while in some southern cities, it’s as low as $50 per month.
We mean; electricity, natural gas, internet connection, tv connection, and water by utilities. The total monthly utility bills are low in some states and high in others. States like Hawaii, which generally have the lowest cost of living, have the highest utility bills. It’s a factor worth considering when choosing where to settle.
With an average cost of living of 81.1, Mississippi is about 19 lower than the 100 mark. Mississippi has much to offer. I wouldn’t say it’s glamorous, but it’s way cheaper than any other state in the US Besides, it’s well-known for its strong communities and unending support to its citizens.
Mississippi offers over 50 colleges and universities, which is exceptional for such a relatively small state. You won’t worry about smog or traffic as it fades away within months. If you’re looking for a state with the lowest living expenses in the US, don’t look any further than Mississippi.
The most distinguished contributor to the attractive overall cost of living in Tennessee is its low housing expenses. If you’re a lover of great music, food, or glamour, Tennessee packs all that—don’t let the cost-of-living fool you. What makes this state a judicious choice is an idea that residents don’t have to pay any income tax, and housing is relatively less costly.
Similarly, Tennessee is a home of over 75 colleges, and there are many job opportunities both in its cities and their outskirts. If you’re an outdoor person, you’ll be amazed by its Great Smokey National Park, which is one of the most frequently visited national parks in the U.S. With the many offers available in Tennessee, the reality of owning your own home may come true sooner than you can imagine.
Clocking in with an overall cost of living index of 87.8. Arkansas is yet another affordable state that most people complement. With a focus on transportation, low housing, and health care, Arkansas offers everyone affordability and economic opportunities. It has diverse employment opportunities, vast educational opportunities, multiple colleges, and big-city life vibrancy if that is what you prefer. Although it has a mild climate, no state beats its beautiful green sceneries.
There’re plenty of reasons why South Dakota is among the states with the lowest living expenses. First up, it offers many employment opportunities and affordable housing. So, if you want a state where you can work more than one job, this is it. It’s also considered the 5th least populated state in the country, which is an excellent choice, especially if you’re into a small-town feel. With a dynamic culture rich in native history, there are few places you’d rather be if not South Dakota. Besides being relatively affordable, it’s an ideal place to raise your kids as it ranked second for the “best place for children.”. It also scores great when it comes to transportation, health care, and utilities.
West Virginia has an average cost of living index of 78.1. If you’re a small-town feel kind of a person, you’ll find West Virginia an incredible place. The pace of life is relatively slower here, which, personally, is the kind of normal I always wish for. Although they tend to favor locals over outsiders for employment, it’s still a great and affordable place to work remotely.
There’re plenty of outdoor activities in West Virginia, and the scenic beauty that surrounds you every morning is just extraordinary. With affordable housing and everything it has to offer, West Virginia is still a gorgeous choice!
The Cost of Living Within States
The general cost of living varies from state to state. A state like Hawaii has the highest cost of living index in the US. Conversely, the cost of living may also vary by region within a state. Rural areas usually have lower costs of living than urban areas. That said, it’s complex to write off an entire state just because it has an overall high cost of living. Rather, also dig deeper into specific regional costs to gauge the numbers.
Frequently asked questions
Which state in the US is the most affordable?
According to our research, Mississippi is the best state in terms of cost of living.
Which state is rated the ugliest in the US?
The most rated state as the ugliest in the US is Connecticut, mainly because it’s mostly flat with unexciting urbanized areas. However, along its coast, there are lots of beautiful colonial architecture.
Which state is rated the prettiest in the US?
Well, depending on your taste, most states in the US are rated to have all the beautiful sceneries that please the eye. However, most people find Alaska and Florida to be the prettiest. For instance, Florida has all the alluring mix of balmy weather, dazzling beaches, and sweet Latin vibe that most people find exceptional.
There’s no doubt that the cost of living in the US varies from state to state. Most people living in the US focus more on dollar amounts when determining their financial health without considering how far the dollar is going, which shouldn’t always be the case. Although most metro areas we’ve named above have plenty of attractions, culture, and other vital perks to offer, they’re not always the most affordable.
The cost of living considers the diverse prices of child care, goods, and services, while housing affordability relies more on homes’ prices in relation to the median family income. So if you want to settle or possibly look for employment in a particular state, consider checking its overall lowest living expenses States.