The Lowest Cost of Living in the United States

Home » Blog » Tips » The Lowest Cost of Living in the United States

The Lowest Cost of Living in the United States

In the United States, the cost of living varies by state. The amount of money required to maintain a specific standard of life is referred to as the cost of living. Housing, food, taxes, and healthcare are all included in the cost of living. The cost of living in a state and per capita personal income are highly correlated. The cost of living varies by state, based on how far a dollar can travel in that jurisdiction. This is particularly evident in home costs. A dollar spent on rent in Arkansas is worth $1.58, whereas a dollar spent on rent in Hawaii is worth $0.61, according to 24.7 Wall St. The cost of living index is based on a 100-point scale in the United States. Any number less than 100 indicates that the cost is less than the national average, while any number greater than 100 indicates that the cost is greater than the national average. The lower the number, the further the dollar will travel to cover that expense.
You should be aware of living costs in your city whether you’re balancing your budget or considering a major relocation. Groceries, utilities, rent, and gas prices all vary by location, so some places are just more affordable than others.   This is especially evident in cities where the median income does not keep up with living expenditures. Large coastal cities, such as New York and San Francisco, are known for their exorbitant rents and high cost of living.   However, in smaller Midwestern cities like Indianapolis and Toledo, Ohio, items are significantly less expensive. While a reduced cost of living does not automatically imply higher quality of life, it can help people who are trying to stretch their budget.    

Findings That Are Intriguing

* California is home to seven of the ten most expensive cities in the United States. Because of its high median rent, Irvine has the highest total cost of living, beating out both San Francisco and San Jose for first place. * Although Honolulu, Hawaii, has the fifth highest cost of living, it also has the lowest median income among the top ten most expensive cities. Santa Ana, California has a median individual income of $26,272 and a monthly cost of living of $2,244. This makes living alone in the city while earning the median income very impossible.  * Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, and Newark are the four cities where living on a median individual or household income is the most difficult. More than half of income is spent on living expenses in both Miami and Newark. In the 74 cities we looked at, the typical individual income is $33,749, and the median household income is $64,246.  

List of the Cheapest Cities in the United States

The ratio of home values to income, median property taxes, median home values, median rent, and monthly housing expense to income ratios were all included in the ranking. It also considered the cost of gasoline, the cost of food, and the median rent to income ratio.  


Index of Living Costs: 84.8
93.1 on the Grocery Cost Index
66.7 Housing Cost Index
89.9% Transportation Cost Index  

Mississippi is the cheapest state to live in in the United States. Mississippi’s average cost of living is almost 15% lower than the national average cost of living. Mississippi has the cheapest personal essentials in the US, with a living salary of only $48,537. Mississippi has the cheapest housing in the country, at $795 per month, and the cheapest childcare in the country, at $2,869 per year. Food, health care, and a variety of other basics are among the cheapest in the country.  


Index of Living Costs: 86.8
94.1 on the Grocery Cost Index
70.1 Housing Cost Index
91.3 Transportation Cost Index

Oklahoma has the country’s second-lowest cost of living. Housing in Mississippi and Arkansas is among the cheapest in the country, with an average property price of $124,800 and a rent of $879 for a two-bedroom apartment. Oklahoma also offers some of the cheapest gas in the country. With ratings of 95.8 and 94.1, even utilities and groceries costs are below average. The overall cost of living in Oklahoma City is 15.4 percent lower than the national average.  


Cost of Living Index is 87.8 out of 100.

90.7 on the Grocery Cost Index 75.2
Housing Cost Index
86.1 Transportation Cost Index

Arkansas has the lowest housing prices in the US, with residents paying an average of $708 per month on rent or mortgages, less than half of what many others pay, and a typical home cost of $128,800. However, the third-lowest cost of living in America is accompanied with the second-lowest earnings. The livable wage in Arkansas is $49,970. Arkansas also has much lower transportation, utility, food, and other costs.  


Index of Living Costs: 90.2with
94.5 on the Grocery Cost Index
Index of Housing Costs: 82.6
87.7% Transportation Cost Index  

Tennessee is the ninth-most affordable state in the United States. Tennessee has the highest living wage on the list, at $50,152, as well as the highest housing prices, at $810. Despite this, the housing index in Tennessee is only 82.6. Tennessee has very low taxes, with no state income tax, and very low food costs. Morristown, for example, has a cost of living that is 13% lower than the national average. The cost of transportation is around 12.3% less than the national average.  

New Mexico

Cost of Living Index 89.6
99.0 on the Grocery Cost Index
Index of Housing Costs: 80.4
93.0 Transportation Cost Index  

New Mexico is the eighth-most affordable state in the United States. The cost of groceries is about the same as the national average; however, the cost of utilities and housing is much lower. New Mexico’s typical home price is $193,200, and the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom property is $762. The southern region of New Mexico has a particularly low cost of living, with transportation, utilities, and health care being significantly less expensive than the rest of the state and country.  

Indiana’s Fort Wayne 

Cost of living is 13.2 percent lower than the national average
Metro population is 413,263 Median household income is $57,287 (national average is $65,712)
Median home value: $143,800 ($240,500 in the United States)
4.9 percent unemployment rate (U.S.: 4.8 percent )  

The Fort Wayne metro area boasts an exceptional mix of affordability and convenience. This Northeast Indiana city not only has a booming art scene with year-round festivals and events, but it also has a collection of beautiful and tranquil neighborhoods. One such family-friendly summertime favorite is the annual Three Rivers Festival. Indeed, the area’s three rivers – the St. Mary’s, the St. Joseph, and the Maumee – are prominent features, providing excellent chances for canoeing, kayaking, and cruising. The main driver of the metro area’s comparatively cheap cost of living is, as is generally the case, affordable housing. Residents spend 34% less on housing costs – including mortgages, rents, and other related expenses – than the average American does to maintain a roof over their heads. Groceries and utilities are also significantly less expensive than national norms, contributing to Fort Wayne’s ranking as one of the most affordable cities in the United States. Fortunately, the metro area’s unemployment rate has declined significantly since the pandemic-related rise last year, and now compares favorably to the national average. The metro area’s biggest employers are Parkview Health, General Motors (GM), and Lincoln Financial Group (LNC).  

Savannah, Georgia

Metro population: 393,353
Median household income: $60,371
Median home value: $201,000
Cost of living: 13.3% lower than the national average
The unemployment rate is 3.1%  

Savannah is best known to outsiders as a tourist attraction, with its huge oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, National Historic Landmark Districts, hot summers, and Southern Gothic charm. Those who call Savannah home, however, are well aware of how reasonably priced it can be. The entire cost of living in Georgia’s oldest city (established in 1733) is 13.3 percent lower than the national average, with housing expenditures 36 percent lower than the national average. Utilities, consumables, and transportation are also reasonably priced, although healthcare is over 11% more expensive than the national average. Savannah’s allure is not limited to its low prices. Indeed, when it comes to cultural attractions, the metro area punches well above its weight, from movies to fashion. The annual Savannah Film Festival, hosted by Savannah College of Art and Design, is a must-see for cinephiles. Savannah State University and Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus are also located in “The Hostess City of the South.” Naturally, prices vary around the metro region, as they do in most of the cheapest U.S. cities on this list. The city of Savannah proper (population 144,457) has a median family income of nearly $15,000 less than the metro region average of $60,371. In addition, the city has lower median property values, higher unemployment, and a higher poverty rate.  

Alabama’s Decatur/Hartselle

Average cost of living is 13.4% lower than the national average
Metro population is 152,603
The median family income is $53,447
Median home value is $142,900
Unemployment rate is 2.6 percent

Decatur and Hartselle, both in Northern Alabama, offer a wealth of outdoor activities, cultural diversions, and affordable living costs. Decatur’s economy benefits from its location as one of the busiest ports on the Tennessee River, as well as its proximity to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, and festivals like the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic all contribute to the local economy. Nearby Hartselle, about 10 miles south, offers the same allure as its northern neighbor. During the summer, residents can cool down in the city’s expansive aquatic center, which features a water slide and diving platform. The Hartselle Downtown Commercial Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is well worth a visit for Southern history aficionados. All of this and more is available to residents without breaking the wallet. Decatur’s housing costs, such as mortgages and rents, are around 34% lower than the national avera Apartment rents Apartment rents are roughly 43% cheaper than what the average American pays each month. Prices for a wide range of goods and services are also lower, from pizza to haircuts to dry cleaning.  

Virginia’s Lynchburg

Metro population: 266,186
Median household income: $57,736
Median home value: $174,000
Cost of living: 13.4% lower than national average
The unemployment rate is 4%  

Lynchburg is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains’ foothills and is home to Liberty University, which is the city’s top employer. However, the metro area is more than just a college town because of its divers industrial economic and industry base. Lynchburg has scored near the top of Gallup’s well-being index thanks to a comparatively strong job market – the unemployment rate is substantially below the national average – and a low cost of living. The “City of Seven Hills” made this list of the cheapest cities in the United States to live in because its people spend roughly a quarter less on housing than the national average. Groceries and transportation are also less expensive than in the United States. However, while Lynchburg is one of America’s cheapest cities, not everything is cheaper here. Utilities, for example, are slightly higher than the national average. Beer, a movie ticket, and an eye exam are all more expensive than normal.  

North Carolina’s Winston-Salem

Cost of living is 13.6 percent lower than the national average
Metro population is 676,008 people.
Unemployment rate: 4.3 percent
Median household income: $52,322
Median home value: $164,800  

The Winston-Salem metro area, in especially its enclave of Thomasville-Lexington, offers plenty of Southern hospitality at a price that appeals to everyone from singles to families to seniors. Not only are living costs more than 13% lower than the national average, but Social Security benefits are not taxed in North Carolina. There’s plenty to do in Winston-Salem, too: Winston-theater Salem’s and visual arts tradition earned it the nickname “The City of the Arts,” and the region is home to six colleges, 75 recreational parks, and 33 wineries. It also has a sizable healthcare industry, so doctors and experts are easy to come by. The typical household income is just around 80% of the national average, but so is the median home value. Indeed, overall housing expenses are 31% lower in Thomasville-Lexington. Meanwhile, transportation costs are around 30% less than the national average. On the downside, prices in the aforementioned healthcare industry are significantly higher than the national average, at more than 22.2 percent. However, residents in Thomasville-Lexington will enjoy discounts on a wide range of other goods and services. The typical apartment costs $766 per month, compared to $1,215 nationally. Plus, sugar is roughly 24% less expensive, gas is 11% less expensive, and having your tyres rebalanced will save you a lot of money.  

Lake Charle, Louisiana 

Cost of living is 13.9% lower than the national average
Metro population is The median5
Median family income is $51,547
Median home value is $164,700 Unemployment rate is 5.5 percent

Lake Charles, Louisiana, has something for everyone, from cajun cookery to classical music to petrochemicals, all at moderate pricing. The metro region is perfect for outdoor leisure activities as well as oil refineries, liquid natural gas terminals, and petrochemical plants because it is located on the Gulf Coast and has numerous lakes and rivers. Casinos, tourism, museums, golf courses, a symphony orchestra, professional sports teams, and McNeese State University are just a few of the region’s services and attractions. Not to mention the gastronomic culture. Cookouts in Lake Charles are the ideal setting for a traditional Louisiana shrimp boil, complete with crawfish, corn, and potatoes. Boudin sausage packed with pig, shrimp, or even alligator is also popular in Cajun country. Meanwhile, living expenditures are roughly 14 percent lower than the national average, with housing, as expected, accounting for 23.3 percent of the difference. Utilities are even better, with residents saving 26% on their expenses compared to the national average. Unfortunately, when it comes to the metro area’s low cost of living, there’s another factor to consider. The poverty rate of 20.4 percent is about 10% greater than the state average and far exceeds the national figure of 12.3 percent.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

Leave a Comment