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States With Lowest Cost Of Living

States With Lowest Cost Of Living

Affordable Cost of Living in the U.S.

Living in the United States comes with vastly diverse costs associated with everyday life, varying considerably from one state to another. These costs, collectively known as the cost of living, encompass necessities such as housing, dietary needs, healthcare services, and taxes. With an eye on the United States' standing as the 26th most costly country to inhabit, understanding the regional variation in the cost of living is essential.

Employing the Cost of Living Index to evaluate these expenses, we can paint a more vivid picture of the affordability landscape across the states. The index, using a baseline score of 100 representing the national average, helps identify which states provide a more economical way of life, based on the idea that a lower index signifies cheaper living costs.

Here are some noteworthy trends and findings from the database: 

  • The states offering the lowest cost of living are predominantly based in the South and the Midwest. Specifically, Mississippi and Oklahoma lead the way with respective index scores of 85 and 85.8, with every dollar going appreciably farther compared to the national average. 
  • Certain regions like the Northeast, Pacific Coast, and non-contiguous states tend to present the steepest living expenses. Hawaii, with an index score of 184.0, is the most expensive state to live, where the value of a dollar drops dramatically for residents.
  • States in the Midwest like Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska offer significantly lower living costs compared to coastal regions, presenting index scores in the 87.5-91.9 range.
  • It's evident that living costs increase around the country's more affluent and populous regions, such as New York, California, and Massachusetts, with the Cost of Living Index scores soaring over the 130 mark.

States with the Lowest Cost of Living

The states with the lowest cost of living, according to the Cost of Living Index, are predominantly located in the South and Midwest. Mississippi has the lowest cost of living, with an index of 85, implying that living costs are 15% below the national average.

Following closely is Oklahoma, with a Cost of Living Index of 85.8, indicating that cost of living here is approximately 14.2% less than the national average. Moving further north, Kansas has a third lowest cost of living with an index score of 87.5. This implies that the cost of living is 12.5% lower than the national average.

Next on the list are Southern states Alabama and Georgia, with index scores of 88.1 and 88.6 respectively. This indicates a cost of living around 12% below the national average. Housing, food costs and transportation in these states tilt the balance of affordability in favor of the residents, especially when compared to the national average.

In the Midwest, Missouri and Iowa offer the next lowest cost of living, scoring 89.1 and 89.2 on the index - accordingly around 11% below the national average. Indiana also boasts a low cost of living, its index at 89.9 reveals living costs there to be about 10.1% less than the national average.

Rounding off the list and located in the South and Midwest, are West Virginia and Tennessee, boasting indexes of 90 and 90.2 respectively.

States with the Lowest Cost of Living:

  1. Mississippi - 85
  2. Oklahoma - 85.8
  3. Kansas - 87.5
  4. Alabama - 88.1
  5. Georgia - 88.6
  6. Missouri - 89.1
  7. Iowa - 89.2
  8. Indiana - 89.9
  9. West Virginia - 90
  10. Tennessee - 90.2

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