What Is The Cheapest US State To Live In?

If you are thinking of moving to a state where your dollars will go the extra mile, you may not be the only one! And it is that deciding where to live does not have to be based only on your social circles. Job opportunities could be a good reason too, although not as much as before. 

Why? Mainly, due to the popularization of online businesses and remote work. For the cheapest US state to live in to be ideal, you have to meet certain requirements.

Thanks to these new factors, Americans have the opportunity to live in other communities that are more affordable and that provide a better quality of life. And all this without losing your job!

For many, the golden dream is to live in a big and dynamic city. However, these types of urban metropolises are usually quite expensive. This would make the money you receive go even less and, of course, negatively impact your quality of life.

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So where can you move to save and live high? Since the cost of living varies by state, the right question would be: Which is the cheapest state in the United States to live in?

The cost of living index in the United States

Now, it is important for you to know that the average cost of living takes into account certain factors, such as the cost of food, housing, clothing, utilities, transportation, medical care, public education, and of course, the payment of taxes.

To give you an idea, the average cost of living calculated by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is $16.54 per hour, which is the same, as about $68,808 per year. This amount is calculated for two adults who work as the head of a family of four. Thus, the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour puts many households on the poverty line.

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Things to keep in mind before moving to another state

Sure, not everything is as bad as it seems. Many current workers are into remote work or telecommuting and have even become proud owners of small online businesses. 

This advantage allows them to take advantage of their ability to work anywhere to move to a state in the country with a low cost of living. This will automatically make your dollars go a whole lot more without having to cut back on your lifestyle.

Furthermore, this could also have a positive impact on your lifestyle. You will have more green areas to walk around, less traffic, a welcoming community, etc. You could even lower your tax bill since in some states state income tax is not collected or sales tax is not applied.

What Is The Cheapest US State To Live In?

Finding a balance between quality and cost of living could be difficult. That is why we have selected the 5 cheapest states in the country to live in. To do this, we analyze the data published by MIT in 2020.

This will help you a lot, especially if you have the opportunity to work from home and live in the place you prefer. Before you think you couldn’t move from New York or Los Angeles to “the suburbs”, focus on the benefits! You will have a bigger and more luxurious home, your own car, a better education for your children and you will pay less for your purchases.

In some states around the country, you could even say goodbye to gas and expensive fuel. By making this simple change, you could have more money available for investment and, over time, enjoy greater financial freedom.

1. Mississippi

Mississippi may not be as glamorous and stylish as other states in the country, but it certainly has its positives. For one thing, you can live here with much less money than you usually spend in other states in the United States. 

In addition, Mississippi has more than 50 colleges and universities and is known for giving a warm welcome to everyone who steps on its territory.

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Here you will not have worries like traffic or smog. You will have a better lifestyle!

  • Housing (annual): $8,949
  • Hourly living wage: $10.89
  • Child Care (Annual): $3,845
  • Median annual household income before taxes: $55,683

2. Arkansas

Arkansas has a temperate climate that has become one of its great attractions, especially for those who do not like drastic changes in temperature. This magnificent climate is the creator of a spectacular view full of green landscapes at any time of the year.

Arkansas has, essentially at least, a strong economy. Its cities are full of university students and also have large and dynamic centers, similar to those of the large cities of the country. What stands out the most? The educational opportunities in Arkansas are enormous.

  • Housing (annual): $8,837
  • Hourly living wage: $10.67
  • Child Care (Annual): $8,099
  • Median annual household income before taxes: $60,896

3. Tennessee

Big cities, good music, and gastronomy of another world. Tennessee has this and more. This is the “home sweet home” of more than 75 universities in the country and job opportunities are not far behind either. In fact, it could be argued that they are relatively high when compared to the national average.

Anything good from Tennessee? Residents do not have to pay any income tax, and the cost of housing rarely reaches $1,000 a month. If cities aren’t your thing and you long to live outdoors, Tennessee has something for you, too. The Great Smoky National Park spans more than 800 square miles and is the most visited national park in the country.

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The low housing costs and opportunities for strong and growing employment, make Tennessee residents can become homeowners in less time and without many sacrifices.

  • Housing (annual): $10,230
  • Hourly living wage: $10.97
  • Child Care (Annual): $8,718
  • Median annual household income before taxes: $60,305
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4. West Virginia

This state has many treasures, from incredible mountain ranges to one of the most popular music genres in the country – bluegrass. Yes, there may not be big cities in West Virginia. In fact, it looks more like a small town. 

However, this should not be a negative thing. That slower pace of life could be very relaxing. West Virginia residents typically love the outdoors!

Of course, if you consider West Virginia as an opportunity to move, you should have your own source of income, since (in the workplace) there are not many opportunities, especially for those who are not local.

The positive? If you work remotely, you won’t have a problem! This is a cheap state to live in and will allow you to enjoy all its attractions.

  • Housing (annual): $8,837
  • Hourly living wage: $10.83
  • Child Care (Annual): $6,079
  • Median annual household income before taxes: $61,412

5. South Dakota

The affordable housing in South Dakota and the high employment rate have become popular states to move to. This is the fifth least populated state in the country. 

Therefore, it offers spaciousness and a significant amount of square meters in outdoor areas. In South Dakota, the weather could be a bit extreme. But the good part is that the people are warm and friendly.

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Are you interested in South Dakota as a destination? Well, you’ll be happy to know that this state ranked second in the “best place for kids”.

  • Housing (annual): $9,531
  • Hourly living wage: $10.60
  • Child Care (Annual): $9,726
  • Median annual household income before taxes: $61,410

Complete List of America’s Most Affordable States

If you want to know which other states offer a low cost of living, take a look at the table below. Here you will find the cheapest states to live in according to MIT:

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