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The Cheapest States To Live In The USA 2024

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Updated on January 5, 2024 by
Cheapest States

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Are you looking to lower your cost of living by moving to a cheaper state? We analyzed the cost of living for every state in the US, and ranked the cheapest states to live in.

We calculated the annual groceries costs, housing costs, utitlities costs, transportation costs, and healthcare costs of each state to find the total expenditures you would need to spend to live in each state for a year.

What is the Cost of Living?

The “cost of living” is the amount it takes to live in a certain country and location. A cost of living index takes into consideration many types of expenses, including housing, food, utilities, transportation, health care, taxes, and miscellaneous goods and services. These are all expenses that are necessary to live.

In addition, the cost of living is also linked with income and is a measure used to compare how livable various locations are. The cost of living is also used to compare how much it costs to live in different locations.

How is the Cost of Living Figured?

Usually, the cost of living is calculated by comparing the prices of necessities. The costs are broken into categories and weighted based on spending patterns and individual budgets. As prices are gathered, it’s easier to determine the cost of living in an area and compare it with another location.

Tips to Keep Up with the Cost of Living

The cost of living has a way of always increasing due to inflation. That means our purchasing power grows smaller as the cost of goods becomes more expensive. However, there are some steps you can take to keep up with the cost of living.

Earn more income: is one way to stay up with the increases that go with the cost of living. If the cost of living goes up 10% and your income rises by the same percentage, you’ll stay up with rising prices and will be able to keep the same standard of living.

Make adjustments: if your income can’t keep pace with the cost of living, it may mean cutting expenses. One of the easiest to cut is discretionary spending. For instance, you may have to change from taking vacations to taking staycations. That’s a great way to save money but still have fun with your family. Reducing or cutting out eating out can also save quite a bit. To reduce the amount of gas used going to work, you may want to switch to public transport to reduce expenses.

These are only a couple of ways you can reduce the effect of the ever-increasing cost of living.

The Cost of Living in the US

The cost of living in America varies drastically from state to state. For example, the most expensive state to live in, Hawaii, has total annual expenditures more than double that of the cheapest state to live in, Mississippi. You would need $97,549.48 to live a year in Hawaii while you would only need $43,129.28 to live a year in Mississippi.

The differences in housing costs is perhaps the most drastic. Housing would cost you $30,775.17 per year to live in Hawaii, while it would only cost you $6,297.26 per year to live in Mississippi.

Some people prefer to pay more to live in a busier, more populated city because salaries are also higher in those areas. It can also lead to better networking and more exposure to bigger career opportunities. However, with the current rise of remote work and more people working from home, it’s now a better time than ever to move to a cheaper state and lower your cost of living drastically.

Take a look at the full research below.

Which states are the cheapest to live in?

  1. Mississippi – Total annual expenditures: $43,129.28 cost of living.
  2. Oklahoma – Total annual expenditures: $43,993.90 cost of living.
  3. Arkansas – Total annual expenditures: $44,299.06 cost of living.
  4. New Mexico – Total annual expenditures: $44,858.52 cost of living.
  5. Kansas – Total annual expenditures: $45,011.10 cost of living.

The cheapest state to live in is Mississippi, followed by Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Kansas.

Which states are the most expensive to live in?

  1. Hawaii – Total annual expenditures: $97,549.48 cost of living.
  2. California – Total annual expenditures: $70,034.22 cost of living.
  3. New York – Total annual expenditures: $69,830.78 cost of living.
  4. Oregon – Total annual expenditures: $68,152.40 cost of living.
  5. Massachusetts – Total annual expenditures: $66,168.86 cost of living.

The most expensive state to live in is Hawaii, followed by California, New York, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

Which states have the lowest groceries costs?

  1. Michigan – Total annual expenditures: $3,555.98
  2. Texas – Total annual expenditures: $3,568.01
  3. Kentucky – Total annual expenditures: $3,632.15
  4. Arkansas – Total annual expenditures: $3,656.21
  5. West Virginia – Total annual expenditures: $3,676.25

Which states have the lowest housing costs?

  1. Mississippi – Total annual expenditures: $6,297.26
  2. Alabama – Total annual expenditures: $6,540.54
  3. Oklahoma – Total annual expenditures: $6,577.97
  4. Missouri – Total annual expenditures: $6,606.04
  5. Georgia – Total annual expenditures: $6,755.75

Which states have the lowest utilities costs?

  1. Idaho – Total annual expenditures: $3,136.14
  2. Montana – Total annual expenditures: $3,185.62
  3. Wyoming – Total annual expenditures: $3,231.29
  4. Oregon – Total annual expenditures: $3,318.83
  5. Colorado – Total annual expenditures: $3,349.28

Which states have the lowest transportation costs?

  1. Arkansas – Total annual expenditures: $3,848.11
  2. West Virginia – Total annual expenditures: $4,018.42
  3. Mississippi – Total annual expenditures: $4,124.29
  4. Oklahoma – Total annual expenditures: $4,147.30
  5. Alabama – Total annual expenditures: $4,147.30

Which states have the lowest healthcare costs?

  1. Arkansas – Total annual expenditures: $5,822.51
  2. Maryland – Total annual expenditures: $5,924.54
  3. West Virginia – Total annual expenditures: $5,978.96
  4. Mississippi – Total annual expenditures: $6,094.59
  5. Alabama – Total annual expenditures: $6,094.59

Looking to move up north? Check out the cheapest cities to live in Canada here.

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