This Is the Cheapest State in America

The cost of living in this area is a bargain if you're on a budget.

circle

Americans have had a rough year, between the coronavirus pandemic and the economic collapse that occurred after businesses across the United States shut down for months on end. As unemployment rates skyrocketed and millions were furloughed or laid off, financial concerns quickly became one of the leading issues (behind personal health, of course). In this current climate, it's even more essential to be frugal and try to save money however possible. For many, that meant moving out of pricey metropolitan areas and relocating to more affordable regions where the cost of living is lower. So, if you're wondering which state is the cheapest, we've got you covered.

We combed through the most recent cost-of-living metrics from the Council for Community & Economic Research, which compares the average cost of groceries, transportation, and utilities in each state to the national average. Then, we compiled the median price for a house in each state, according to Zillow's real estate database. Together, these indicators created our final Cheap Score.

The results point to one extremely wallet-friendly place to live. This state has the lowest median housing price in America and rates the second-lowest on the transportation index. It also lands in the top 10 states with the cheapest utility bills. To find out where your state falls in the budget, read on, and for more areas that are hurting your bank account, This Is the State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.

50
Hawaii

An aerial photo of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu, Hawaii with Diamond Head in the background
iStock

Median housing price: $649,905

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +69.3 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +46.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +99.4 percent

Cheap Score: 3.09

49
California

California
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $586,659

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +19.5 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +33 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +28 percent

Cheap Score: 23.1

And for more places you probably dislike, This Is the Most Hated State in America.

48
Alaska

skyline photo with the Chugach mountains in Anchorage, Alaska at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $285,487

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +31.8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +20 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +60.1 percent

Cheap Score: 34.24

And for more areas that are struggling, This Is the Least Successful State in the U.S.

47
Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $457,192

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +16.1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +11.9 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +7.1 percent

Cheap Score: 35.25

46
Washington

red and green trees and a walk path in a garden in Seattle, Washington
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $442,339

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +18.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -9.1 percent

Cheap Score: 38.2

45
Oregon

cityscape photo of Eugene, Oregon at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $379,503

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +13.3 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +33.2 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -11.4 percent

Cheap Score: 39.14

44
New York

Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge in New York, New York in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $346,328

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +20.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +10.8 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -0.2 percent

Cheap Score: 41.28

43
Rhode Island

buildings and walking bridge by a lake in Providence, Rhode Island at night
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $321,513

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +9.4 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +3.7 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +25.3 percent

Cheap Score: 41.62

42
Connecticut

fast moving traffic on a highway and buildings in Hartford, Connecticut at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $272,404

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +8.2 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +12.5 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +34.9 percent

Cheap Score: 41.93

41
New Jersey

trees and walkway at a park in Burlington County, New Jersey
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $357,546

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +9.9 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +8.7 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -1.5 percent

Cheap Score: 42.49

40
Maryland

clouds and trees reflecting in the Prettyboy Reservoir in Baltimore County, Maryland
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $326,553

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +17 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +2.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +9.4 percent

Cheap Score: 42.61

39
Colorado

tall beige rocks and green trees at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $423,364

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -2.8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +5.8 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -13.9 percent

Cheap Score: 42.69

38
Vermont

red farmhouses, orange trees, and rural land in Reading, Vermont at sunrise
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $262,525

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +12.4 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +16.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +18.8 percent

Cheap Score: 43.42

37
Utah

cityscape photo of Salt Lake City, Utah at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $377,443

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -1.1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +5.3 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -7 percent

Cheap Score: 43.98

36
Nevada

red rocks and a butte at Red Rock Canyon in Clark County, Nevada
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $316,102

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +20.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -8.1 percent

Cheap Score: 44.16

35
Delaware

city skyline and Christiana River in Wilmington, Delaware
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $271,530

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +23 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +1.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -4 percent

Cheap Score: 46.41

34
New Hampshire

a townhouse next to trees, a lake, and canoes in Grafton County, New Hampshire
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $309,709

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -2.4 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -4.5 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +11.1 percent

Cheap Score: 46.49

33
Arizona

red mountains and green trees at sunset in Sedona, Arizona
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $291,168

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -0.9 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +5.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +4.6 percent

Cheap Score: 46.78

32
Maine

tall buildings and houses in downtown Portland, Maine at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $255,736

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +1.5 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +0.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +11.9 percent

Cheap Score: 47.96

31
Minnesota

orange and green tress next to and a bridge over a lake in Duluth, Minnestoa
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $272,175

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +6.9 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +0.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -2.7 percent

Cheap Score: 48.32

30
Pennsylvania

trees above the Susquehanna River in Southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania at sunset
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $208,774

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +7.8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +11.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +9.5 percent

Cheap Score: 48.47

29
Florida

empty street, palm trees, and white buildings in Palm Beach, Florida at night
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $259,642

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +4.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -1.3 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +4.5 percent

Cheap Score: 48.54

28
Virginia

a bridge over and rocks on the James River in Richmond, Virginia
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $296,604

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -2.3 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -6.2 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -1.7 percent

Cheap Score: 48.94

27
Montana

dark yellow mountains and trees next to St. Mary Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana at sunrise
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $311,024

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +3.5 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -9.3 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -13.7 percent

Cheap Score: 49.39

26
Idaho

cityscape photo of Boise, Idaho in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $315,911

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -6.7 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +1.3 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -16.6 percent

Cheap Score: 49.45

25
North Dakota

a butte and green trees at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $237,608

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +2.4 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +2.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -9.2 percent

Cheap Score: 51.14

24
South Carolina

mountains and trees along Pinnacle Lake in Greenville, South Carolina at sunet
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $203,707

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +1.9 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -7.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +5.9 percent

Cheap Score: 52.23

23
Illinois

Illinois
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $215,891

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -5.2 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +4.8 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -6.6 percent

Cheap Score: 52.58

22
North Carolina

sailboat and trees along a lake in Beaufort, North Carolina
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $217,575

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -6.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -1 percent

Cheap Score: 52.67

21
Wyoming

the reflection of glaciers and tress in a lake in Teton, Wyoming
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $259,371

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: +5.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -18.9 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -12.1 percent

Cheap Score: 52.71

20
Georgia

cityscape photo of Atlanta, Georgia at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $213,918

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -0.3 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -3.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -6 percent

Cheap Score: 53.04

19
Texas

trees on a cliff rock wall and houses at Lake Travis in Austin, Texas
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $223,107

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -10.5 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -8.9 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +2.6 percent

Cheap Score: 53.44

18
South Dakota

yellow flowers and rocks at Badlands National Park in South Dakota at sunrise
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $220,326

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -0.8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -5.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -9.6 percent

Cheap Score: 53.48

17
Wisconsin

city skyline and Lake Michigan at twilight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $200,295

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -4.1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -3.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -2.9 percent

Cheap Score: 53.75

16
Michigan

Michigan
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $184,304

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -11.1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +3.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +0.6 percent

Cheap Score: 54.21

15
New Mexico

buildings and an empty street in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico at night
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $217,355

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -1.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -8.3 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -11.4 percent

Cheap Score: 54.29

14
Iowa

white houses, green land and empty roads, photo taken from above, in Iowa City, Iowa
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $157,584

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -3.7 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -2.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: 0 percent

Cheap Score: 55.38

13
Nebraska

trees, sand hills and a bridge overcasting Dismal River in Nebraska Sandhills, Nebraska
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $186,579

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -1.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -5.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -11 percent

Cheap Score: 55.45

12
Missouri

cityscape photo of St. Louis, Missouri at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $171,811

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -2.1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -9.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -2.6 percent

Cheap Score: 55.51

11
Ohio

city skyline on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $161,507

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -2.7 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: +5.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -11.6 percent

Cheap Score: 55.57

10
Tennessee

The skyline of Knoxville, Tennessee
iStock

Median housing price: $200,257

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -4.9 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -12.1 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -7.9 percent

Cheap Score: 55.6

9
Alabama

rocks and green trees at sunset at The Cheaha Mountain State Park in Delta, Alabama
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $155,782

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -6.4 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -6.8 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: +3.7 percent

Cheap Score: 55.9

8
Indiana

USA War Memorials and city skyline in Indianapolis, Indiana at twilight
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $166,556

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -8.1 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -1.7 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -4.2 percent

Cheap Score: 55.92

7
Louisiana

street cars in New Orleans, Louisiana in the afternoon
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $176,987

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -2 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -3.4 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -13.2 percent

Cheap Score: 55.98

6
Kansas

cityscape photo of Wichita, Kansas at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $165,364

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -8.4 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -5.3 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -0.4 percent

Cheap Score: 55.99

5
Kentucky

cityscape photo of Frankfort, Kentucky at dusk
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $153,649

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -8.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -5.5 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -3.4 percent

Cheap Score: 57.01

4
Oklahoma

greens plants and a lake below the Wichita Mountains in Lawton, Oklahoma at sunset
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $139,614

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -7.6 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -7 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -6.9 percent

Cheap Score: 58.21

3
Arkansas

fall foliage at falling water falls in arkansas
Tammy Chesney / Shutterstock

Median housing price: $150,910

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -10 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -10.2 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -7 percent

Cheap Score: 58.35

2
Mississippi

a white boat in and a bridge over the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $131,774

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -7.8 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -10.5 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -7.2 percent

Cheap Score: 59.1

1
West Virginia

city skyline with a bridge, buildings, and the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia
Shutterstock

Median housing price: $108,333

Cost of groceries compared to the national average: -3.3 percent

Cost of transportation compared to the national average: -16.6 percent

Cost of utilities compared to the national average: -10.6 percent

Cheap Score: 60.9

Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal
GET YOUR FREE GIFT
SUBSCRIBE