Around 43 million Americans up and move every year. 60% of those are moving for work, and the other 40% move for more personal reasons. There are many trials and tribulations associated with a stateside move – finding new friends, exploring new avenues, and establishing new relationships.

But what are the prime moving factors we should weigh before throwing a dart at the map and choosing our new destination? Climate, food, culture, and perhaps most important – affordability. So, we thought we’d do a little of the leg work for you, and explore the most cost-friendly and the most pricey states to settle in in the United States? Welcome to this episode of The Infographics Show – Least Expensive to Most Expensive State in the USA.

So we’ll begin this journey by looking at some of the most cost-friendly States. First stop: Mississippi. Mississippi is not only one of the least densely populated states, but is also the least expensive to live in. With a low per capita income driving the economy, the state’s housing costs are kept really low. In decades past, cotton production drove the economy, but nowadays, agriculture has diversified and livestock industries have taken over. Products such as chicken, catfish, soybean, and rice are farmed here. The people are generally down to earth, god-loving Americans, with a passion for hunting and rebel flags. There’s a host of wildlife in the state to hunt, including everything from deer and wild hogs, to alligators and crocodiles.   

Alabama is also another good choice for new homeowners, with residential real estate exchanging hands for under $100,000. A meal for one at a restaurant in Birmingham can be had for around $11, and electricity, water, and trash collection would cost the avg person about $190 per month. A movie and a meal for two might cost you around $60. You have access to both the mountains and the sea, and the Southern hospitality is palpable here, making Alabama a good choice.  

Indiana is at the crossroads of America, so you can expect rock bottom prices for groceries. The topography is rugged and full of creeks, wetlands, caves, and canyons, and home to deer, raccoons, beaver, and muskrats. The crossroads to America has more miles of interstate highway than any other state, and more major highways intersect here than anywhere else in America, making this a great place to use as a base for further American exploration.  

Next stop is Michigan. The Great Lake state offers low cost housing and is touted as a good business hub. Home of the American auto industry, gas here is cheaper than most states. It is here in Michigan that the Kellogg brothers made the accidental discovery of flaked cereal that revolutionized breakfast tables across the world.      

Arkansas is a rural state offering low housing costs and low business costs, attracting Fortune 500 companies to set up office in the State. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment is just $700 a month. The median home value here is around $110,000, which is $100,000 less than the national index. You can watch a movie for around $9, and if you hit a mid range restaurant, you’ll be looking at splashing out about $30 for two.  

Oklahoma is the home of wheat fields and a loaf a bread costs less than $3. You can rent a home here for the median price tag of $950. A dinner and a movie for two should cost around $60, and utilities in a small unit come in at about $140 a month. Other expenses such as gym memberships are lower here than most other states too.    

But what about on the other end of the affordability scale? Well, the most expensive state for real estate is a vacation destination for many. With palm studded sandy beaches, beautiful flora and fauna, and a diverse mix of cultures, take a gander at the Aloha state Hawaii. Paradise doesn’t come cheap, and with most homes changing hands for an astronomical average of $1 million, you may have to save up, or rob a bank, before retiring here.

With an average home selling for $1.6 million, there are cheaper places to buy a new abode than Washington D.C. You’ll also be hit with an on average $160 energy bill. And if you’re planning on renting, it’ll cost you just under $2,000, more than double the cost in some places. Dinner and a movie will cost about a $100, so in order to be comfortable here, you’d need an annual salary of over $100,000.  

It comes as little surprise that California is one of the most expensive states to live in America. With high housing costs and a growing population, these prices seem set to remain sky high. Somehow, the state is in $1.6 billion of debt and nearly 33% of all welfare recipients are Californian, but still Cali remains an expensive place to call home.  

Next stop. New York. Even a modest lifestyle can cost a fortune here in the Empire State. In Manhattan, the average home costs $1.6 million. This is a huge state, with areas such as Rochester, where you might be able to find a home for under $300,000. But day to day living nowadays in New York is as pricey as anywhere in the world.

Massachusetts isn’t that much cheaper. This state boasts a high price on groceries with a 24 ounce T-bone steak costing more than $60. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Boston is the 4th highest in the US, and it has a steep $287 energy bill.

Alaska has only 760 farms, meaning they have to import much of the food products here, which isn’t cheap.  A loaf of bread that may cost a dollar seventy in other states is closer to 5 dollars here.

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