Lowest Cost of Living States

When considering a move in their retirement years, people should prioritize the cost of living, safety, and weather issues. In this article, we will give you the top 10 lowest-cost-of-living states that can help you get started if you’re looking for a less expensive destination.

What Does Cost of Living Mean?

The lowest cost of living can be simply expressed, the cost of living is the sum of money needed to pay for your daily needs in a certain location. These costs are typically categorized as your home and utilities, transportation, medical care, and groceries. To make it easier for you to compare the cost of living in other places, the average costs of these expenses are totaled together and compiled into a cost of living index.

Top 10 States with Lowest Cost of Living

listed below are the top 10 states with the lowest cost of living:

#1. Mississippi

Mississippi has the lowest cost of living in the country, scoring 83.3 on the cost of living index. It also has the nation’s lowest average housing costs, 33.7% lower than the norm. The average cost of a single-family home is about $140,818.

With 19.5% of the population living below the poverty line, the state also has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Mississippi ranks highly on the list of the worst states to live in due to a combination of economic difficulties, a failing educational system, and a generally poor quality of life.

#2. Kansas

With a score of 86.5, the wonderful state of Kansas ranks as the second-cheapest state to live in. The median price of a single-family home in this region is about $176,898, ranking it as the third-cheapest housing expense in the country. Additionally, the state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, which is encouraging for its economy.

#3. Alabama 

With an overall cost of living index score of 87.9, Alabama the Beautiful ranks third for having the lowest overall cost of living. The median price of a home in this area is $170,184, making it the second-cheapest state after Mississippi. Even though it is one of the states with the largest percentage of residents living below the poverty line, transportation, and healthcare expenditures are among the lowest in the nation. Nevertheless, the fact that the unemployment rate is only 2.9% is encouraging.

#4. Oklahoma 

Oklahoma, which received a total score of 87.9, is ranked fourth. It is also among the least expensive states for things like housing, groceries, and healthcare. In Oklahoma, a house will cost you $151,469 on average. In terms of healthcare and education, the state is frequently placed alongside Mississippi and has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation (15.1%).

#5. Georgia

The Peach State earns an overall score of 88.8 and ranks fifth with much lower housing prices than average, as well as lower than average utility and transportation expenditures. In Georgia, a single-family home costs on average $246,272. Georgia frequently ranks slightly higher than other states on lists of fun places to live, thanks in large part to Atlanta’s sustained role as a regional business center in the South.

#6. Tennessee 

Tennessee, which ranks sixth cheapest and with a score of 89.0, is yet another Southeastern state to make the list. The typical price for a single-family home in the state is $230,253, making housing costs marginally lower than those of its neighbor to the south. Even though the poverty rate is high at 13.8%, the unemployment rate is still below the national average at 3.4%. Tennessee is special in that there is no state income tax on wages received by residents.

#7. Missouri 

Missouri’s overall cost of living index score of 89.8 places it eighth in terms of affordability. If you’re having difficulties deciding between the South and the Midwest, this state, which has a median single-family house cost of $194,226 and borders two of its less expensive siblings, is a wonderful middle ground.

#8. Iowa

With a score of 89.9, Iowa makes the list as the eighth most affordable state to live in, adding some extra Midwestern flavor. Iowa, in contrast to many other states on this list, has a poverty rate of 11%, which is lower than the national average. A single-family home costs, on average, $167,036. Due to its robust economy and educational system, this sleeper state also ranks ninth on WalletHub’s list of the greatest states to live in. It also has the highest ranking on our list of the cheapest states.

#9. West Virginia

West Virginia, the place where all country roads end, comes in tenth on the list with a cost of living index score of 90.5. The average price of a single-family home in this Appalachian state is $117,639. This makes it one of the most cost-effective regions to buy a home. Despite having a high home value, West Virginia is frequently ranked with Mississippi as one of the worst states to live in owing to issues with the state’s economy and educational system.

#10. Indiana 

The magnificent state of Indiana, which received a score of 90.6, completes our top 10. The average single-family home in Indiana costs $185,805, making housing costs the primary draw despite the fact that all expenses are less expensive than the national average. In terms of overall rankings for the greatest states to live in, Indiana is in the middle of the pack, but their 2.2% unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation.

Lowest Cost of Living States in the US

The typical American household spends $61,334 on annual expenses. 34.9%, or around $1,784 per month, of an average household’s expenses, go toward housing and housing-related costs. The typical cost of a single-family home in the US is $273,992, while the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,164 per month.

Read Also: What is the average living cost per month in Athens, Greece?

Lowest Cost of Living States 2023

Here are a few lowest cost of living states presently in 2023:

#1. West Virginia

Forests cover more than 75% of West Virginia, resulting in a stunning and serene environment that is incredibly cheap. With a median property price of $112,000 and a low population density (1.7 million), there is much room to look for affordable housing.

With a typical family income of just under $50,000, West Virginia offers plenty of employment options in the manufacturing and energy sectors and maintains an unemployment rate under 4%. While this pay may or may not seem insufficient, West Virginians can actually stretch their dollars for a pleasant upper-class lifestyle wherever they live because of the state’s cheap cost of living for rent ($600-$1000), utilities ($300), and groceries ($400-$700).


Kansas is ideal for people who wish to experience Midwest life without going over their spending limit. With a typical household income of $61,000 and a 2.8% unemployment rate, the state is not too populous yet offers a wide variety of work options.

#3. Iowa

If you want to live in the Midwest and save money at the same time, Iowa, which is located right in the middle of the country, is a perfect choice. Although it has one of the smallest populations in the nation (3.1 million), with a typical family income of $60,000 and a 4.2% unemployment rate, it also has a lot of career options.

Lowest Cost of Living States for Retires

#1. Alabama

  • Average home price: $170,184; 
  • The average monthly cost of Medicare Advantage: is $64.27
  • The average cost of living index. 88.6 

Many retirees believe Florida is the ideal location, but more should think about Alabama, which is right next door. After all, if you replaced the Atlantic Ocean with Alabama’s Gulf of Mexico, you could save a ton of money.

#2. Arkansas

  • Average home price: $149,120; 
  • The average monthly cost of Medicare Advantage: is $44.34
  • The average cost of living index on average: 92.1

The Natural State offers a wide variety of outdoor activities and comfortable weather for retirees who want an active retirement. Despite slightly higher property prices than nearby states like Mississippi, Arkansas still has fairly reasonable housing costs. Additionally, property taxes are below $1000 a month to offset the hefty sales taxes.

#3. Iowa

  • Average Price of a Home: $165,955
  • The average cost of Medicare Advantage Per Month: is $49.07
  • The average cost of living index on average: 90.3

Despite its lack of beaches and consistently mild weather, Hawkeye State still offers plenty to offer seniors, from cities like Des Moines to national parks like Effigy Mounds. In fact, Iowa is ranked as the third-best state for maintaining an active social and physical retirement.

#4. New Mexico

  •  The average cost of a median home: is $248,670
  • The average cost of living index: is 90.6; 
  • Average medicare advantage Monthly Cost: $39.61

If you’ve ever visited the Land of Enchantment, you can see why retirees are moving to New Mexico in droves.

According to Charles Lehman, project coordinator for Retire New Mexico, a one-stop shop for anyone thinking about migrating to the state, “New Mexico has a lot of practical benefits for folks moving here.” “Your cost of living is very high. The cost of housing is affordable. Good weather—possibly the best available anywhere. We have the scenery, the landscapes, the food, the culture, and the outdoor activities. There are a number of benefits to living in this state.

What State is #1 in Quality of Life?

Talking about States with the Highest Quality of Life In all 50 states:

#1. Washington

 Washington State has the best quality of life. The state boasts a strong labor market, no income tax, and excellent chances for doing business abroad. Because of their superior healthcare system and healthy lifestyle choices, locals have among the longest life expectancies in the country. The state is a pioneer in the use of renewable energy, with wind and hydroelectricity making up the majority of the state’s energy supply.

#2. Utah

The second-best quality of life in the country is found in Utah. Utah’s economy is booming, and it shares the lowest unemployment rate in the country with Nebraska. Along with the state’s fiscal stability, job growth is also very high. Utah residents also rank among the healthiest in the nation, with the lowest rates of alcohol and cigarette use as well as inactivity. Additionally, the nation’s lowest rates of high blood pressure, cancer, and cardiovascular disease are found here.

#3. New Hampshire

The third-best state in the nation for quality of life is New Hampshire. The state experiences the least amount of economic hardship, poverty, and food insecurity in the country. The lowest crime and incarceration rates in the nation are found in New Hampshire. The air in the state is among the best in the nation. Along with some of the strictest climate change laws, it also has one of the greatest rates of renewable energy.

What Stae is Best for Low Income?

#1. Vermont 

Vermont, which ranks first on our ranking of the greatest states for low-income families and individuals, has a robust Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that applies to both original creditors and collection agencies, like many other states in our top 10. Additionally, it includes state rules that defend workers who need to miss work to take care of a sick relative, go to any kind of school-related event, or deal with an emergency affecting a dependent child. The $10.50 state minimum wage is significantly higher than the $7.25 federal minimum and is inflation-indexed. While Vermont’s median monthly rates, at $966 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,260 for a two-bedroom, are slightly higher than the national average, this still represents about one-third of the state’s median income for renters, making housing comparatively inexpensive.

#2.  New York

New York is the second-most welcoming state for low-income individuals, which may surprise some given its high cost of living and particularly high property prices. This is true for a number of valid reasons. First off, New York has an extremely progressive tax system, with a top tax rate that only applies to real millionaires, a low state income tax of just 4% for individuals with modest incomes, and an earned income credit worth 30% of the federal EITC. Rents that are higher than the national average can be more easily afforded because of the state minimum wage, which is $10.40 per hour (but which is presumably lower than the statewide median outside of the New York City metropolitan area).

#3. Michigan 

Due to its relatively low cost of living and the above-average minimum wage of $9.25 per hour, which will be linked to inflation starting in 2019, Michigan comes in third on our list. At minimum wage, it takes 17.99 hours per week or 23.01 hours per week to pay the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment. Michigan is a state that increased Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), just like Rhode Island and Vermont, and just like Vermont, initial creditors are covered by Michigan’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

What is the Happiest us State?

#1. Montana

The first -happiest state in the union in Montana. The typical workweek for Montanans is around 40 hours, and they don’t have to deal with lengthy commutes. They have plenty of time to spend with their spouse and the majority of them return home thanks to this work-life balance.

#2. Wisconsin

Wisconsin residents appear content. They have many reasons to be cheerful, including high marriage rates, low unemployment, and lower levels of depression than in most other states.

#3. Nebraska

Third, in terms of happiness is Nebraska. In comparison to most other states, Nebraskans squander less time on the commute home from work. This is great because the majority of them are employed due to the extremely low unemployment rate.


Want to be content? Try living on an island. The nation’s lowest rates of depression are among Hawaiians. Despite the fact that we did not consider whether, in our study, we can’t help but believe that residing in a tropical paradise must assist a little.

What is the Best State to Move to?

#1.  Virginia

  • Healthcare: 12
  • Education: 12
  • Economy: 13
  • Infrastructure: 39
  • Opportunity: 8
  • Economic Stability: 18
  • Criminal Justice: 9
  • Environment: Natural: 19

Virginia improved significantly from 2018 when it was ranked 20th to seventh in the U.S. & World News list. The state’s overall score has benefited from economic expansion and declining crime rates.

#2. Wisconsin

  • Healthcare: 15
  • Education: 8
  • Economy: 26
  • Infrastructure: 24
  • Opportunity: 9
  • Economic Stability: 9
  • Criminal Justice: 25
  • Environment: Natural: 17

Wisconsin is ranked as the eighth-best state to live in by U.S. & World News, largely because it provides its residents with access to opportunities and education.

With 90% of pupils completing high school (vs. the national average of 85%), Wisconsin’s schools exceed the country in this regard. Wisconsin outperforms the rest of the country in fourth-grade NAEP results.

#3.  Minnesota

  • Healthcare: 16
  • Education: 17
  • Economy: 15
  • Infrastructure: 9
  • Opportunity: 2
  • Economic Stability: 21
  • Criminal Justice: 15
  • Environmental Quality: 10

Minnesota is once again ranked as the second-best state in the U.S. & World News study.

In terms of opportunity indicators, Minnesota comes in second place nationwide. With 9% of persons living at or below the poverty line, the state has one of the lowest rates of poverty in the nation. In addition, Minnesota boasts one of the lowest rates of unemployment, food insecurity, and homeownership in the nation. Although economic inequality is modest, Minnesota has the lowest racial homeownership discrepancy in the country.

What State is the Most Stable?

#1. Mississippi

  • Index of Cost of Living: 83.3
  • Groceries: 92.2 \sHousing: 66.3 \sUtilities: 90.4 \sTransportation: 86.7
  • Health: 94.7
  • Miscellaneous: 90.0

The United States state with the lowest cost of living in Mississippi. With an index of 83.3, the cost of living is over 17% lower than the national average. The nation’s cheapest housing market is in Mississippi. A single-family home costs, on average, $140.818. An average two-bedroom apartment has a monthly rent of $777. The nation’s lowest transportation expenses can be found here.

#2. Kansas

  • Health: 100.4; Housing: 72.6; Groceries: 91.7; 
  • Utilities: 100.2; Transportation: 97.3; 
  • Cost of Living Index: 86.5
  • Miscellaneous: 88.4

The cost of living in Kansas is the second lowest in the country. The third-lowest in the nation, housing expenses are 28% below the national average. In Kansas, a single-family home typically costs $176,898. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $862. Costs for groceries and transportation are also less expensive here than they are nationwide.

#3. Alabama

  • 87.9 is the cost of living index.
  • Groceries: 98.2
  • Housing: 70.1
  • Utilities: 100.7
  • Transportation: 92.7
  • Health: 91.2
  • Miscellaneous: 94.3

With an index of 87.9, Alabama has the third-lowest cost of living in the nation. After Mississippi, Alabama has the second-lowest housing costs. In Alabama, the average price for a single-family home is $170,184, while a two-bedroom apartment rents for $807 a month. Alabama’s health and transportation expenditures are among the lowest in the country, although utilities and groceries are about average for the country.


It may seem like a great idea to relocate to one of the least expensive states in the union to save some money, but it’s necessary to take all relevant considerations into account. Learn about the average salaries and work prospects in the state you want to move to. Spend some time learning about the housing market, what is available, and what you may expect to receive for your money. Think about the lifestyle you want to lead and the types of recreational opportunities and natural wonders you want to have access to.


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