Cheapest states to live in the US

Top 5 Cheapest states to live in the US with the Best quality of life – 2024

Studies
United States

Living in the United States offers a diverse range of living experiences, and for those seeking affordability without compromising on the quality of life, certain states stand out as particularly attractive. When considering the most affordable states to live in, several key factors come into play, including affordable housing, healthcare costs, goods and services, and the overall average cost of living.

In terms of affordable housing, some states in the U.S., like West Virginia, offer lower housing prices and average monthly rents compared to the rest of the country. However, it is crucial to also consider the safety of the U.S. states before deciding to move

Read on to discover the top 5 cheapest states to live in the US with the best quality of life.

Cheapest States to live in the United States with the best quality of life

Methodology

We based our ranking of the 5 cheapest states to live in the US with the best quality of life on the prices of housing and renting and the average cost of living. Statistics come from Rockethomes’s median pricing and Zillow’s 1-bedroom median cost and cost of living data were derived from Numbeo.

The “best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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Cheapest states to live in the US

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1. West Virginia

West Virginia - Mountain view
  • Cost of living: $1,168.65
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,000
  • Median property buying cost: $214,446

Located within the Appalachian Mountain region, West Virginia is known as the Mountain State. It is ideal for nature enthusiasts who enjoy biking and rock climbing in Morgantown, boating and fishing at Summersville Lake, and exploring the waterfalls in Blackwater Falls State Park. 

Residents claim that Charleston is ideal for those who love shopping at places like Charleston Town Central Mall and Capitol Market, while Morgantown offers a quiet lifestyle with outdoor activities, and low cost of living for approximately $1,168.65 per month. As of December 2023, the median property price in West Virginia is $214,446, and a 1-bed apartment rents for around $1,000.

West Virginia.gov (Dec 2023),  Numbeo (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

West Virginia

2. Ohio

Columbus, Ohio - skyline
  • Cost of living: $1,845.41
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,250
  • Median property buying cost: $219,903

Ohio is a great state for settling down and raising a family. Living here is affordable, particularly when it comes to housing and the cost of living. As of December 2023, the median home price is $219,903, and a 1-bedroom apartment rents for around $1,250, while the cost of living per month is around $1,845.41. Ohio offers a range of attractions, from lively city scenes with art and culinary excellence to charming historic towns.

It is ideal for families with children, offering some of the best educational facilities, such as Ohio State University and Miami University, and home to many professional and college sports teams. Additionally, residents enjoy the best amusement parks in the country, like Cedar Point and Kings Island. 

Ohio.gov (Dec 2023), Numbeo (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Ohio

3. Michigan

9. Michigan - Cheapest States to Live in the US
  • Cost of living: $1,576.37
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,200
  • Median property buying cost: $227,563

Michigan is called the Great Lakes state because it has more than 11,000 lakes. Residents can easily balance their work with outdoor activities in the state’s beautiful parks and lakes. Adding to its charm, it has a rich cultural heritage influenced by Native American tribes throughout its history. And it is home to the highest-ranked public school in the Midwest, the University of Michigan, making a great choice for students.

Michiganders claim to live in a friendly community with a lower cost of living, making affordable housing accessible. As of December 2023, the median property price is $227,563, and 1-bedroom apartments are renting for around $1,200. The overall cost of living is around $1,576.37 per month.

State of Michigan (Dec 2023), Numbeo (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Michigan

4. Oklahoma

2. Oklahoma - Cheapest States to Live in the US
  • Cost of living: $2,073.67
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,350
  • Median property buying cost: $233,548

Oklahoma is renowned for its rich Native American history and vibrant country music scene. Residents participate in various events, including festivals and music events. The state provides a dynamic urban-style atmosphere in cities like Oklahoma City, as well as a more quiet ambiance in places like Yukon. It’s advisable to have a car for transportation, as Oklahoma is considered one of the best states for driving.

Residents claim that everything here is relatively more affordable, from the cost of living to having one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. The cost of living in Oklahoma is around $2,073.67 per month. As of December 2023, the median property price is approximately $233,548, with 1-bedroom apartments renting for about $1,350

Oklahoma.gov (Dec 2023), Numbeo (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Oklahoma

5. Missouri

10. Missouri - Cheapest States to Live in the US
  • Cost of living: $1,923.21
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: $1,250
  • Median property buying cost: $239,939

Missouri offers a blend of natural beauty and friendly communities. Missourians enjoy activities such as hiking in parks like Ha Ha Tonka State Park and Mark Twain National Forest. While metropolitan areas like Kansas City provide more access to amenities like Brookside Shops, and is home to The University of Kansas Hospital, nationally ranked among the country’s top 50 hospitals.

Residents claim that Missouri offers a relatively low cost of living compared to other states, and it also has one of the lowest tax burdens. The average monthly cost of living is around $1,923.21. Additionally, housing is affordable, as of December 2023, the median property price is $239,939, and the cost of renting a 1-bedroom apartment is around $1,250.

Local Logic (Dec 2023), Numbeo (Dec 2023), Zillow (Dec 2023) & Rocket Homes (Dec 2023)

Missouri

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Conclusion

When looking for the most affordable states to live in the United States, it is important to find a balance between a reasonable housing market and a low average cost of living without sacrificing the quality of life.

By consulting this list, you can make an informed decision tailored to your preferences and aligned with your lifestyle. Options range from states like West Virginia, which offers a quiet lifestyle with affordable housing, to Missouri, known for its natural beauty, welcoming community, and being one of the cheapest states to live in the U.S.

If you are moving soon, don’t forget to explore in advance the best long distance movers in the USA to make your move as smooth as possible.

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Mississippi
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Kansas
  4. Alabama
  5. Georgia
  6. Indiana
  7. Tennessee
  8. Arkansas
  9. Michigan
  10. Missouri

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing pricing in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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