• How expensive is your state? You might be surprised to learn what the most and least expensive states in the US really are.
  • Sure, California is expensive, but what about Alaska? Apparently, it’s incredibly pricey.
  • The ranking uses data on home prices, utility costs, and transportation costs.

Ah yes, we’ve already covered things like the fattest state and the rudest state thanks to BestLife’s addition to list-making, so of course, we’d eventually get to the cheapest and most expensive states in the US. Where does your state rank? Well, first let’s take a look at how the list was created and the criteria on which each state was ranked.

Most of the time, real estate prices are the driving factor behind any state being considered expensive or cheap to live in. This list is no different, as median housing price is first on the list, but there are some other metrics that were also weighed, including grocery cost, transportation cost compared to the national average, and utility cost. All of that data was crunched to come up with what BestLife calls the “Cheap Score,” and the higher, the better.


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All 50 states are represented on the list, but as always we’ll start with the bottom of the list, which in this case indicates teh most expensive states to live in.

  1. Hawaii
  2. California
  3. Alaska
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Washington
  6. Oregon
  7. New York
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Connecticut
  10. New Jersey

Not a whole lot of surprises on this section of the list, with Hawaii and California being well-known for their incredible cost of living. Other coastal states are also represented, but one possible surprise is the ranking of Alaska as the third-most-expensive state to live in. I personally would never have guessed that, though Alaska residents do get a small chunk of cash from the government as part of a fund based on how much oil is drained and sold over the course of each year. It’s still probably not enough to offset the sky-high cost of utilities in the state.

Now, for the top of the list, representing the cheapest states in the country:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Mississippi
  3. Arkansas
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Kentucky
  6. Kansas
  7. Louisiana
  8. Indiana
  9. Alabama
  10. Tennessee

As you move away from the west and east coasts of the country, cost of living tends to dip dramatically. That’s certainly the case with most of the states on the top of the list, where housing prices are a fraction of what they are in states like California and New York.

If you don’t see your state on either of these two lists that means it falls somewhere in between. To get a look at the full list you can hop on over to BestLife’s website for the complete rundown.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.