The 13 States With the Cheapest Cost of Living

Perhaps you're inquisitive. Changing locations might be in your future. Maybe you're tired of breaking the bank to cover the basics: rent, food, and transportation.

For whatever reason, you've started to wonder, "Which states are the cheapest to live in?" That's an excellent inquiry. Here's a tour of the 13 states where you can get by on the least amount of money.

We've compiled a list of the 13 states with the lowest annual cost of living for 2023.

So, here they are:

How Do You Define "Cost of Living"?

What it sounds like, the cost of living is the money needed to maintain a standard of living in a given area. Everything from rent or mortgage payments to food, utilities, transportation, medical care, and entertainment are factored in.

The Cost of Living Index is published annually by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), and it is used to determine which states have the lowest overall cost of living. Unless otherwise specified, all of the figures in this article come from that index.

Now that you know which states are least expensive, it's time to compare their cost of living, income, and unemployment rate to the rest of the United States. S average We'll discuss the unique traditions of each state as well.

With this information in hand, you should be able to make a more educated decision about which states to move to. So, let's just jump in.

Mississippi, No. 1

With a cost of living that is 15% lower than the national average, Mississippi takes the title of "America's Lowest Cost of Living State." the lowest in the nation, by 6 percentage points  

The following table compares Mississippi to the rest of the United States with respect to median home price, median household income, and the availability of jobs. S :



Typical House Cost



Average Monthly Rent*



Average Family Income



Rate of Unemployment



*Monthly rents are based on a 2-bedroom unit's average size.

The music and food in Mississippi are incredible, so get ready to jam once you get there. Rock and roll, blues, and delicious foods like fried catfish and chocolate pies have made this state famous.

Oklahoma, Number Two

Go West with Me There is a 13% savings on the typical cost of living in Oklahoma. Muskogee, Oklahoma is the cheapest major city in the Sooner State. There, the cost of living is 21% lower than the national average, making it an attractive place to settle down.

How much, roughly, can you count on making per year in Oklahoma? To what extent does housing cost Here, let's take a look:



Standardized House Value



Average Rent for a Month



Average Family Income



Ratio of Unemployment



Oh, and you might want to stop in Oklahoma on the way to the top of your field in sports, show business, or the rodeo. Mickey Mantle, Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, and Will Rogers are just a few of the well-known Okies. Additionally, Okies take great pride in honoring their state's Native American heritage and cowboy traditions.

3. Kansas

The average cost of living in Kansas is 12 Slightly below the median, at a 7% drop While the cost of healthcare and utilities is roughly comparable to the national average in the United S City in Kansas offers a wide variety of products and services at incredibly low prices. Things like shampoo and movie tickets typically cost about 10% less than normal.

Let's look at how Kansas stacks up against the rest of the country in terms of home costs, average salaries, and unemployment rates.



Average House Cost



Average Monthly Letting Cost



Average Family Income



Rate of unemployment



Kansas is one of the best states to live in financially due to its low home prices, low unemployment rate, and high salaries.

4. Alabama

There are only three states with lower costs of living than Alabama. one percent less than the national average S The one case The cost of utilities is roughly the national average.

The Anniston-Oxford area is the least expensive place to live in Alabama, with a cost of living that is 17% less than the national average. Birmingham, the most expensive city, is still 8% cheaper than the national average.

Compared to the rest of the U.S., how do Alabama's housing costs, incomes, and job market stack up? S :



Average Home Cost



Average Monthly Letting Costs



Average Family Income



Rate of Unemployment



Alabama is well-known as the location of the NASA Space Center. It is also a major producer of steel pipes in the United States, thanks to the abundance of the raw materials needed to make steel (limestone, iron ore, and coal) in the local soil.

5. Georgia

We'll be moving on to Georgia shortly. The Georgian standard of living cost 11 4 percentage points below the US average

While the national average is 80%, Atlanta brings it down a bit with a higher cost of living by 2%. Happily, the cost of living in the rest of Georgia's cities is between 8 and 17 percent lower than the national average. S city

How much do people typically make in Georgia, and how much do houses cost there? Convince yourself:



Real Estate Market Median



Pricing of a Typical Monthly Lease



Income Distribution's Median



Rate of Unemployment



It's safe to say that the average cost of a home in Georgia is not low. Salary levels are encouragingly close to the median for the nation. There's a lot to see and do in Georgia, from the Appalachians to the Atlantic coast to the state's stunning architecture and warm, welcoming culture.  

6. Ohio

Following that, Ohio. Cost of living is roughly 10% higher than the U.S. Slightly under the norm, at 6% lower Look at these figures for the housing market, the average salary, and the job outlook:



Average House Cost



Pricing of a Typical Monthly Lease



Family Income, on the Median



Calculating the Unemployment Rate



7. Iowa

At 10 Iowa is one of the most affordable states, with a cost of living that is 5% lower than the national average. It's likely you'll pay about the national average for groceries and medical care in Iowa, but real estate is surprisingly inexpensive. Permit me to show you:



Average House Cost



Typical Rent for a Month



Average Family Income



The Jobless Rate



Moreover, among the least expensive states, Iowa has the highest per capita annual income. In addition, Iowa is among the most exciting developments since butter. (The inventor of sliced bread actually hailed from that region.) There are many historical sites and museums to visit, including the house where American Gothic was painted by Grant Wood (that's the one with the couple holding the pitchfork).

Put simply, number eight is the Mountain State.

Both Morgantown and Charleston are included in the statewide cost of living index for West Virginia. These cities have a median home price that is 10% lower than the national average.

You'll be nearer the nation's capital if you make your home in eastern West Virginia. C your standard of living will almost certainly increase Alternatively, in the mountains of southern and western West Virginia, the cost of living is likely even lower than in Morgantown.

How do the cities of Charleston and Morgantown stack up against the rest of the United States? S :

That State in the Mountaineer State


Estimated Average Monthly Payment



Cost of Rent Per Month, On Average



Common Family Income Median



Percentage of People Without Jobs



The state of West Virginia is known for its large mining sector and breathtaking landscapes. There are hundreds of trails to explore, mountains to summit, and historical sites like Harper's Ferry to see.

9. Indiana

The Hoosier State has a 10% lower cost of living than the national average. S average Transportation and utility costs in Indiana are about average. However, what about shelter? And how's the labor market these days Check this out:



Housing Market Average



Normalized Rent for a Month



Average Family Income



Rate of unemployment



Despite its low population, Indiana is a stunningly beautiful state. The northern sand dunes contrast with the southern forests and limestone caves. Popcorn is abundant in this state; bring your movie collection.

In the tenth place, we have Arkansas.

The State of Arkansas Comes Up Next. Arkansas has a cost of living index of 9. A 9% drop below the norm One of the lowest health care costs in the country, 17% below the national average That's fantastic news for your financial plan.

The housing market, incomes, and employment outlook in Arkansas will now be examined in relation to the rest of the United States. S :



Average House Cost



Monthly Rent at Its Median



Income Distribution's Median



Rate of Unemployment



Amazing hot springs, caves, and forests can be found in Arkansas. And just like Missouri, you have the option of settling in either the plains or the mountains. In contrast to Missouri, however, Arkansas's Crater of Diamonds State Park is home to actual diamonds.  

11th, Missouri

In Missouri, the cost of living is 9 which is 8% less than the average for the United States While Kansas City is the most expensive city in the state, it is only 4 U.S. average, saving you 5% S cities Joplin, the lowest-cost city, is about 18% cheaper than the national average.

Housing costs, average incomes, and the state of the labor market in Missouri are as follows:



Average Home Cost



Pricing of a Typical Monthly Lease



Income Distribution's Middle Point



Amount of Unemployment



There are many great places to plant permanent roots in Missouri's rural communities. Grassy plains, farmland, and the Ozark Mountains are all at your disposal.

There are two major metropolitan areas in Missouri. St. Louis and Kansas City are home to some of America's most famous landmarks, such as the Gateway Arch and the Women's Leadership Fountain, but they also rank among the country's most dangerous metropolises. Your search for a place to live should focus on areas that are both affordable and secure.

Place No. 12: Tennessee

The cost of living in Tennessee is 9% above the 6% below typical And its transportation costs are second lowest on our list, only to those in Mississippi.

We know it comes as a shock, but Nashville is the most expensive city in Tennessee. While this is true, the cost of living in the country is still 2% below the national average. S city We're looking for a more affordable option. You should visit Knoxville because it has a 16% lower cost of living than the national average.

Let's look at how the median home price, income, and employment rate in Tennessee stack up against the rest of the country.



Estimated Average Monthly Payment



Averaging a Month's Rent



Standardized Family Income Median



Employment Situation



While the national median household income is ,000, the median income in Tennessee is only ,000. This contributes to the state's already high housing costs. Before making the move to Tennessee, calculate how much of a mortgage payment you will be able to comfortably make.

When you get there, you can take in the Great Smoky Mountains, listen to some boot-scootin' good music, and feast on some of Memphis's world-famous barbecue. Yum

Number Thirteen: Michigan

Average monthly expenses in Michigan are: The typical rate is 11%, so this is 9% below that About two hours outside of Detroit is the cheapest state in which to live: Kalamazoo.

Utilities and public transportation in Michigan are more expensive than average, and auto insurance is higher than in almost every other state. That's why it's crucial that you work with a reliable insurance agent who can find you the best policy at the most affordable premiums.

Take a look at how the housing market and job opportunities in Michigan stack up against the rest of the country:



Average Home Cost



Typical Rent for a Month



A Measure of the Normative Distribution of Household Income



Indicator of Joblessness



People from Michigan enjoy ice fishing, skiing, and hockey, and the state is well-known for these industries as well as its location on the Great Lakes.

Should You Relocate to a State Where Living Expenses Are Lower?

Maybe As every state has its advantages and disadvantages, the answer is situational.

Moving solely on the basis of the cost of living may not be the best option for you. Moving is a big decision, and you should think about more than just how much money you'll make and how much you'll like the state you end up in. The importance of distance cannot be overstated The cost of moving across the country is significantly higher than moving across state lines. (Check out PODS if you'd like the freedom to relocate anywhere.) They've facilitated 6 million relocations across the country. )

However, it's crucial to settle in a place where you can comfortably support yourself and your loved ones, so it's a good idea to determine if one of the states with the lowest average annual housing costs is a good fit. Use our no-obligation Cost of Living Calculator to quickly compare your current location to others in the country.

Changing Directions

Perhaps you've already made up your mind; exhausted by ever-increasing costs, you're prepared to seek cheaper pastures elsewhere. It's time to make a move

Having one of our RamseyTrusted agents on your side is the first step in buying or selling a home. We have a network of vetted service providers throughout Ramsey County who are part of our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program and carry They're the best of the best in the business, and they're located all over the United States. For this reason, we have given them the name RamseyTrusted.

Immediately connect with a reliable real estate professional recommended by Ramsey.

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