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Cost Of Living By State

Cost Of Living By State
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Introduction

Achieving economic success and overall well-being of individuals and families is inherently linked to the cost of living, which varies significantly across the United States. The elements that constitute this cost—housing, food, healthcare, and transportation—not only quantify the economic necessities of daily life, but also serve as an indicator of the quality of life. With diverse economic structures, geographical elements and local policies, each state poses a distinctive cost of living scenario.

  • States with the highest cost of living are mostly found on the coasts, with Hawaii (184), Massachusetts (149.7), California (137.6), and New York (134.5) leading the way. This pattern might be linked to several factors, including higher property and living costs, lucrative job markets, economic opportunities, and denser populations.
  • Various states in the southern and mid-west regions, including Mississippi (85), Oklahoma (85.8), and Kansas (87.5), are noted for lower costs of living. Lower housing costs contribute heavily to these lower figures.
  • Nevada (103.2), Florida (102.8), and Utah (102.8), located in different geographical regions, have similar cost of living indexes, just slightly above the national average.
  • Alaska (126.6) stands out as the only state in the northwest with a high cost of living index. This is possibly due to its remote and extreme location raising the costs of goods and services.

States with the Highest Cost of Living

Leading this list is Hawaii, presenting an astonishing cost of living index of 184, which is nearly twice the national average. The high cost of living here can be attributed to factors such as expensive real estate and the high cost of imported goods.

Not far behind is Massachusetts with a cost of living index of 149.7. The state's strong economy supported by sectors such as biotechnology, healthcare, finance, and higher education justifies this high index. California earns third place with a cost of living index of 137.6, majorly driven by the colossal costs linked to housing, especially in regions like Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

New York, with a cost of index of 134.5, hinges its high cost of living on factors such as considerable housing costs, particularly in New York City, and high taxes. Alaska, the only non-coastal state in the top 5, holds a cost index of 126.6. Its remote location and the costs associated with bringing goods and services into the state contribute to its expensive living conditions.

Other states rounding out the top 10 with high costs of living include Maryland (124), Oregon (121.2), Connecticut (116.8), New Hampshire (116.1), and Vermont (115.9). Factors such as high housing costs, expensive healthcare, and high taxes significantly contribute to their higher cost of living indexes.

States with the Highest Cost of Living:

  1. Hawaii - 184
  2. Massachusetts - 149.7
  3. California - 137.6
  4. New York - 134.5
  5. Alaska - 126.6
  6. Maryland - 124
  7. Oregon - 121.2
  8. Connecticut - 116.8
  9. New Hampshire - 116.1
  10. Vermont - 115.9

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology