Everyone has fallen into the trap of purchasing a low-priced home. You’re on a website, scrolling through photos of mansions you might buy for a song in some obscure town you’ve never heard of. It might be better to uproot your life to find a cheap property, but you should still look into your possibilities in places with lower housing and living costs.
For 2022/23, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 blue states with a low cost of living. Also, we’ll be discussing the cost of living index so you can learn more about why these states are so cheap.
Understanding Blue, Red, and Swing states
The words “red state” and “blue state” have been used to describe states in the United States based on the majority of voters supporting one political party.
The states favoring the Republican party are called the red states, and those favoring the Democratic Party are the blue states.
A swing state is a state in the United States where the popular vote in a presidential election can go to either party. These states can swing in any direction – Republican or Democratic.
Understanding the national average and living index
Before we proceed further, you must understand the living index and national average.
An average person’s living index is measured across a wide range of categories, including but not limited to the following:
Which are cheaper? Red or Blue?
Generally speaking, red states are cheaper than blue ones. It is because blue states have more economic stability and urbanization. Also, their standard of living is arguably better.
There are around 25 blues. So, blues with low costs of living are discussed below. Please read on!
Cost of Living Data from Council for Community & Economic Research
Following is the list of all blue states [Georgia being the cheapest and Hawaii being the most expensive]. Also, the number indicates their position on the cost of living index data list [from the community and economic research] we collected from the Missouri economic research and information center.
- Georgia 6
- Michigan 15
- Illinois 16
- New Mexico 20
- Wisconsin 21
- Minnesota 22
- Pennsylvania 27
- Nevada 30
- Virginia 32
- Colorado 34
- Delaware 36
- Arizona 37
- Rhode Island 38
- New Jersey 39
- Washington 40
- Maine 41
- New Hampshire 42
- Connecticut 43
- Vermont 44
- Oregon 45
- Maryland 46
- New York 48
- California 49
- Massachusetts 50
- Hawaii 52
The first place goes to Peach State, where housing expenses are much lower than normal, along with transportation and energy expenditures, for a total score of 88.8.
Also, Georgia is the cheapest blue state, with a lower cost of living. It has the lowest cost of living index on this list.
This is great news for the monthly budget if you’re considering moving to Georgia. It also offers one of the lowest housing costs in the USA.
According to the most recent statistics from the MERIC survey (2022 Q3), the cost of living in Georgia is the sixth lowest in the United States.
Single-family homes here cost a median of $246,272. On average, you can expect to pay $585 per head for healthcare costs.
In large part, thanks to Atlanta’s continuous status as a southern economic powerhouse, Georgia also ranks marginally higher on rankings of fun places to live in.
Another cheapest state is Michigan, with low taxes and average rent. It is the second cheapest state on our list.
Michigan has a 10% lower cost of living than the rest of the country. Similarly, the cost of housing is 23% cheaper than that of the national average, but the cost of utilities is 1% higher.
Also, the average housing costs in Michigan are $354,649. For rent, the housing costs can take you from $579 to $1,285.
Finally, the cost of foodstuffs is around 4% less than in the other parts of the States, while the cost of apparel is about 4% less.
Illinois has a cheaper cost of living than the rest of the US by about 6 per cent.
Prices for both housing and utilities are 14% below the national average.
Lastly, the cost of foodstuffs is around 4% less than in the other parts of the USA, while the cost of apparel is about 4% less.
Compared to the rest of the country, New Mexico has an 8% cheaper cost of living. It may not be the cheapest state, but it has a decent housing market and low average rent.
The cost of housing is 15% less than the average in the country, and the cost of utilities is 9% less.
Finally, the cost of foodstuffs is around 7% less than in other states, while the cost of apparel is about 7% less.
Wisconsin has a 4% cheaper cost of living than the rest of the US. Housing prices are 11% below the national average, while those for utilities are flat.
Lastly, clothing and groceries cost about 2% less than in other states.
Compared to the rest of the country, the living cost in Minnesota is 1 per cent cheaper.
The cost of housing here is 11% below the national average, and the cost of utilities is 3% below the norm. The median house worth in Minnesota is around $315K.
Also, the average housing costs can be around $1000 to $1100 per month, which makes it a great state for 9 to 5 people.
Finally, essentials like food and clothing are about seven per cent more expensive than in the other US states.
Pennsylvania ranks 27th on the cost of living index for the third quarter of 2022, making it slightly more costly than Minnesota and less costly than Montana.
Finally, it is one of the best states, which may not be the cheapest but does not list among the most expensive states.
Nevada’s median household income is $2049, which is 1.07 times the national average.
Nevada is the 20th best and the 17th most costly compared to other US states. Also, the median household income here is around $80,000k, which is higher than in Colorado.
Nevadans, on average, take home $3924 monthly after taxes, which is just enough to meet basic needs for 1.9 months.
Virginia [Not West Virginia]
In the past, Virginia and West Virginia were one; today, they are two separate states. Also, Virginia is a Blue and West Virginia is a red state.
Those interested in moving to the area of the country where the founding fathers lived may be relieved to hear that the overall cost of living in Virginia is low.
The state is not among the most costly in the country but is also not among the least affordable.
Finally, the median home price here is $335,198.
Colorado ranks last among the cheapest blues with a lower cost of living.
Also, it ranks 36th in the list of cheapest US states.
A higher than average cost of living can be expected in Colorado by the tune of 4%.
In addition, utilities are 11% lower, but housing is 15% above the national average. The median household income in colorado is around $75,200.
Finally, in 2022, Colorado implemented a new state income tax rate of 4.40 per cent.
Some facts from the community and economic research
The cost of living varies from state to state depending on several factors.
The Cost of Living Index was developed by the Council for Community and Economic Research to provide a standard assessment.
This widely-respected metric estimates what the typical local must pay to maintain their current standard of living.
Primary living costs
There are primarily three elements that influence the cost of living:
Mortgage Payments or Housing
Depending on where you go, hotel rates can range widely. Idaho has much more affordable property per square foot than states like California and New York.
On the one hand, there is plenty of room to move around in, while on the other, square footage is at a premium.
Researchers determine the average price of buying or renting a home in the state to compile the Cost of Living Index.
Income in the Home
A Household’s income is the sum of all the earners in a home, whether they are working or not.
Earnings, retirement benefits, capital gains, rental income, etc., are all sources.
Generally speaking, living expenses will be greater in states where the average household income is higher.
Finally, this means that cheap states typically have lower incomes overall.
Finally, researchers think about the cost of living in the state, wondering how much one would need to survive on a barebones level there.
Lastly, everything from groceries to doctor visits to gas to public transit is included.
How much is enough to live comfortably in the USA?
In the United States of America, a yearly income of $50,000 ought to be sufficient to cover basic expenses.
Considering the national median income is a little over $60,000, a yearly wage of $50,000 is sufficient to cover basic living expenses.
It’s not always the case, though; it depends on where you’re located. Consider how difficult it would be to stay afloat with an annual income of $50,000 in San Francisco.
In terms of one’s bank account, which state is ideal?
Massachusetts is the best state due to its high rankings in health and education, fourth place in safety, sixth place in life quality, and tenth place in economics.
Also, please note that Massachusetts has higher prices and the highest cost of living, only falling behind DC and Hawaii. It also has the highest percentage of high-earning individuals.
Finally, the unemployment rate is very low, and employment opportunities are abundant. Naturally, the lowest unemployment rates are due to its thriving economy and ideal state constitution.
Those who visit the United States will find a vast landmass. According to community and economic research, living prices vary widely across the country, with certain states being inexpensive compared to others.
This makes sense after you give it some thought: Prices are typically higher in areas with higher incomes, such as the coastal megalopolises. As a result of having to pay the wages of others, the cost of necessities has increased. Things cost less in regions with lower wages because of the inverse relationship.
Blue states are marginally more expensive than the reds, but we have discussed the cheapest among them. In most cases [not all], the Blues with low cost of living provide a much higher standard of living than most red ones. Which blue state do you intend to move to and why? Please leave a comment below. Thanks for the Read!