June 12, 2024

Most Affordable States to Live in the USA statistics

Looking for a fresh start in one of the most affordable states to live in the USA but not sure where to begin?

Uprooting your life to move to another state to save money is a serious choice, and you ought to ensure that it’s the right one for you and your family – and your preferences and beliefs make a big difference.

Maybe you’re considering a prestigious job in the South or are thinking about relocating to Iowa. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to have as much information as possible about your new home.

In this guide to the 20 most affordable states to live in the USA, we’ll introduce you to the key details of living in these states so you can make the best choice. Let’s dive in.

Most Affordable States to Live in the USA

AVERAGE-INCOME-PER-CAPITA-IN-CHEAPEST-US-STATES-2022

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Below is a list of the most affordable US states to live in. We followed the methodology of the World Population Review in regards to how cheap it is to live in specific states and used median income levels in those states as a baseline.

20-16

Our first five entries span the North American interior – as well as including the significant economy of the Lone Star state.

20. Ohio

OH cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 94

The 20th state on our list is Ohio, which has an affordability index of 94. As the RentCafe calculator tells us, the cheapest cities to live in Ohio are Ashland and Youngstown, both offering a cost of living 18% below the national average.

The state of Ohio as a whole has 11% cheaper living costs than the US average, with housing costing 27% less.

If you’re moving from Washington, DC, to Ohio and have a $100,000 salary in DC, for example, then the standard of living you’re accustomed to would be provided in Ohio for 40% less – and Ohio’s average income per capita of $58,000 is actually very close to this number.

19. Kentucky

Kentucky media household income statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 93.80

Kentucky, the Bourbon state and home of KFC, has an affordability index of 93.80 and an average household income of $55,880 (2022). The cheapest cities in KY are Covington and Bowling Green, where the cost of living is 13% lower than the US average.

However, RentCafe reports that transport and utilities costs in Kentucky are respectively 9% and 3% higher than average.

If you’re moving from Miami to Kentucky and your salary is $100,000, for example, you’ll do just fine if your Kentucky salary is 20% to 24% lower, and your income would still be above average in the state.

18. South Dakota

South Dakota poverty rate statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 93.80

If life has brought you to South Dakota and you’re looking to save money, you’re in luck, as its affordability index is on par with Kentucky’s at 93.80. The cheapest city in SD is Sioux Falls, and the cost of living in the state is 6% less than the American average, with housing being 10% cheaper

However, food in SD can cost up to 3% more than the national average. What’s more, its poverty rate was over 12% in 2021. If you’re moving to the state from Salt Lake City, for example, then you could have a comparable lifestyle if you made 13% less.

17. Texas

TX cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 93

The second-largest US state is on the seventeenth spot on our list thanks to its affordability rating of 93. If you’re considering moving to Texas, however, keep in mind that not all cities are equally affordable.

For instance, Plano is 22% more expensive than the national average. To get the best value out of moving to TX, consider cities like Allen and Fort Worth.

If you want to move to Texas from Phoenix, AZ, and you have a salary of $50,000, you won’t have any issues establishing a similar quality of life, even if your Texan salary is a little lower. As we pointed out, though, it’ll depend on the city you’re moving to.

16. Wyoming

Wyoming poverty rate statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 92.80

If you feel drawn to Wyoming, you’ll likely save a lot of money. With its affordability index of 92.80, the state offers housing that’s 18% cheaper than the national average. The town of Casper is ranked by RentCafe as the best-value town in WY.

If you want to move from Portland, OR, to Wyoming, and your salary is $50,000, for example, you’ll have a very good standard of life, as your money can buy 25% more in WY.

15-11

From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt, these five states form a north-south band across America.

15. Michigan

MI cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 92.70

In fifteenth place, we have Michigan, with an affordability score of 92.70. The housing here is 13% cheaper than the national average. If you’re moving from New York, your money can potentially go 30% further in Michigan.

Of course, there are regional nuances. On the one hand, cities like Kalamazoo and Lansing respectively offer a cost of living that’s 21% and 9% lower than the US average. However, moving to cities like Detroit and Houghton will mean your financial situation takes a hit, as living there costs more than the US average.

14. Louisiana

Louisiana poverty rate statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 92

The home state of the beautiful city of New Orleans has an affordability index of 92. With some exceptions, moving to Louisiana can save you up to 19% on the cost of living – especially if you move to Hammond. On average, living in Louisiana costs 13% less than the national average.

However, one notable exception to this is New Orleans. Living in NOLA can cost up to 11% more than the US average.

If you’re looking to move to Louisiana from California or New York, you’d be able to save money, and your salary will go further than in those states – but it’ll be considerably more challenging to balance costs if you choose New Orleans.

13. Indiana

IN costs

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 91.50

Indiana might be on the unlucky thirteenth spot on our list, but living there will by no means be an unlucky break. With an affordability index of 91.50, the Midwestern state can offer significant cost savings. For example, housing in Indiana is 20% cheaper than the national average, and groceries are 6% cheaper.

But as with many other states, the cost of living depends on which city you move to. If cities like South Bend and Martinsville offer cost savings of up to 13%, Bloomington doesn’t have anything to offer in terms of saving money, as living there is 9% more expensive than living in the rest of the state.

12. Georgia

GA poverty

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 91

Georgia, the land of peaches and peanuts is in twelfth spot, with an affordability index of 91. The cost of living here is lower than the national average by 10%. Moreover, its housing prices are on par with Indiana, being 20% cheaper than the US average.

However, the state has a significant poverty rate of over 12%.

If you’re considering moving there, be mindful of your finances and choose a city that won’t set you back, like Dalton, Dublin, or Savannah. Atlanta and Dahlonega, on the other hand, will take a chunk out of your finances, with their cost of living sitting higher than the average.

11. Illinois

IL cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 90.80

The only traditionally Democratic state on our list is Illinois, with an affordability index of 90.80. Perhaps surprisingly, its average cost of living is 9% below the national US average. Housing and utilities are also significantly lower.

As you might’ve guessed, Chicago is the exception to this. RentCafe tells us that living there is almost 20% more expensive than the national average. If you’re looking to move to Illinois, you might consider a less expensive city like Danville, Rockford, or Springfield.

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2020-2022-POVERTY-RATE-OF-TEN-CHEAPEST-US-STATES.

Like this infographic? Feel free to use it on your website or blog, but please remember to give us credit by linking back to techreport.com/statistics/most-affordable-states-to-live-in-the-usa in your post.

Our next five states run from the South to the American Heartland, encircling a large part of the eastern half of the country.

10. Tennessee

Tennessee per capita income statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 90.40

Opening up our top ten most affordable states is Tennessee, the birthplace of Miley Cyrus. With its affordability index of 90.40, the state offers those moving there an opportunity to save 11% on the cost of living. Housing and transportation, meanwhile, are 19% and 12% cheaper than the national average, respectively.

The TN cities offering the biggest savings are Hendersonville and Murfreesboro. If you’re moving from Chicago to Tennessee with a salary of $100,000, for example, you can maintain your standard of life in your new home for 25% less.

9. Arkansas

Arkansas poverty rate statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 90.30

President Clinton’s home state of Arkansas comes ninth on our list, with an affordability index of 90.30. Moving there means your cost of living will likely be 8% less than the national average, with housing being 21% cheaper.

The cheapest city in Arkansas is Conway, according to RentCafe – living there is 16% cheaper than US average figures.

However, if you choose Paragould as your new home, be prepared to spend a little more – it’s 2% more expensive than the US average. Moreover, Arkansas’ poverty levels are at almost 17% as of 2022.

8. West Virginia

WV cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 90.30

The scenic state of West Virginia attracts many people, and not just for the Seneca Rocks. Its affordability index is on par with Arkansas, at 90.30, and its cost of living average figures are 8% lower than the US average, while housing is almost 20% cheaper.

If you’re looking to make a move to WV, however, be prepared to pay higher transport costs than the national average. If you’re moving from a city like Philadelphia, your money will go over 12% further in West Virginia than in PA. The cheapest cities in WV are Charleston and Morgantown.

7. Nebraska

Nebraska Median household statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 90.10

The home state of the Corn Huskers claims the lucky seventh spot in our guide, with an affordability index of 90.10. With the cost of living in Nebraska being 9% lower than the national average and housing being 18% lower, your wages will go further than in many other states. 

For example, if you’re moving from Portland, OR, to Lincoln, NE, your wages will go 25% further. However, the cheapest city in the state is Hastings, with living costs being 2% lower than the state average.

6. Iowa

Iowa cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 89.70

Narrowly missing out on the top five, Iowa makes the sixth spot on the list, with an affordability score of 89.70. Whether or not you like the idea of living in a place where there are four times more pigs than people, the fact is that Iowa is cheap. 

For example, housing prices in IA are 20% lower than the US average, though transportation costs are 3% higher.

If you’re looking to save more money, the cheapest cities in the state to live in are Cedar Rapids and Mason City. Spencer and Estherville are the most expensive, on the other hand, with the cost of living being 12% and 9% higher than the US average, respectively.

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TOP-5-MOST-AFFORDABLE-STATES-TO-LIVE-IN-BY-AFFORDABILITY

Like this infographic? Feel free to use it on your website or blog, but please remember to give us credit by linking back to techreport.com/statistics/most-affordable-states-to-live-in-the-usa in your post.

This cluster of states in the South and Midwest includes the most affordable places to live in the whole of the USA. Ready to move?

5. Alabama

AL cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 88.80

Opening up our top five most affordable states is Alabama, with an affordability index of 88.80. However, it also has a high poverty rate, at over 15% in 2022, so make sure to cover your bases when making the decision of whether to move to AL.

Did you know that Montgomery, Oneonta, Cullman, and Scottsboro all offer a cost of living that’s 12% lower than the American national average?

On the other hand, Tuscaloosa is almost on par with the average. If you’re moving from Charlotte, NC, to Montgomery, AL, for example, your income will go 12% further in Alabama than in North Carolina.

4. Missouri

MO cities

Source: RentCafe

Affordability index: 88.40

If you’re looking for a better opportunity, you’re lucky to have chosen the fourth-cheapest US state to live in. With its affordability index of 88.40 and cost of living at 10% below the national average, Missouri can save you a lot of money – especially in Joplin.

Housing and rent in Missouri is 20% lower than the national average. And if you’re moving from New York, your salary will go 60% further in Missouri.

3. Kansas 

Kansas Poverty rate statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 87.70

Drawn to the idea of living in Wichita? Fair enough, given that Kansas is the third-most affordable US state to live in, with an affordability index of 87.70.

Life in the state is 12% cheaper than the American average. If you’re moving from Washington, D.C., to Wichita, for instance, you can almost halve your salary and have the same standard of living in Kansas. 

Keep in mind, however, that the state’s poverty rate hit 12% in 2022 and has been rising since 2018. So, though you might save money, you ought to be vigilant about the local economy.

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma household income statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 86

In second place, we have Oklahoma, with an affordability index of 86. Its cost of living is approximately 13% lower than the national average.

If you choose to move from LA to Tusla, for example, your Oklahoma salary could be 40% less while providing the same standard of living. 

The median household income in Oklahoma in 2022 was over $60,000. However, the poverty rate in the state has been on the rise in recent years, reaching 15.7% in 2022.

1. Mississippi

Mississippi Poverty statistics

Source: Statista

Affordability index: 85.30

In first place, we have the state of Mississippi, with an affordability index of 85.30. The average cost of living in the state is 16% lower than the national average. 

According to RentCafe, if you’re moving from New York to Mississippi on a salary of $100,000, for example, your housing costs would be 52% lower after the move, and you can ensure a good quality of life with a Mississippi salary of $65,000.

However, keep in mind that the state’s poverty rate is also the highest in the US – as of 2022, it was over 19%. For that reason, make sure you have sufficient cash reserves and cash flow before deciding to buy a house in Jackson.

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