It often happens when you travel to a different state that you’re surprised by how cheap a specific commodity is there. It could also be that some other things are costlier than in your home state.

Where you live has a big say on where your salary is spent each month. So let’s take a look at how important metrics vary across some of the most expensive and affordable states in the country.

5 Most Expensive States to Live in 2019


To most people in America, Hawaii is a vacation destination. And now we know why it’s a lot easier to travel through than to call the place home.

The median price for a house in Hawaii is $211,400, which is 1.35 times the national median.

The main reason for the high cost of housing is that the state attracts investors from all over the world looking for their piece of paradise. And it isn’t just housing; Hawaii also has the highest electricity rates in the country.

Hawaii’s jurisdiction under the Jones Act makes shipping produce from the mainland more expensive. Put all that together and you end up with a cost of living that’s much higher than most other states in the USA.


California is notorious for being a place where even a modest lifestyle can cost you a lot of money.

The state’s pleasant weather and wealth of employment opportunities have led to steady growth in population. This, in turn, has caused a spike in property prices, since there is such a voracious demand.

The median price for a house in California is $549,000. To put that in perspective, the median price for a house in Texas is $277,062. And it’s not just housing; everyday living costs in the state can also be a significant financial burden.

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New York

Another entry that you probably aren’t surprised to see on the list. On the east coast, the living realities are quite similar to those in California.

The growth of housing property has not kept up with the demand. In 2015, it came out that a whopping 88,000 people applied to book one of the 55 affordable apartment units that had become available in a single building.

On the flip side, construction costs in New York City are the highest for any city in the world. It’s easy to see why living in New York would prove so costly to residents.

New Jersey

If you’re having a laugh at the high cost of living in New York from the other side of the Hudson, you might want to slow down. New Jersey consistently figures near the top of lists of the most expensive states in America.

This is partly owed to the fact that New Jersey is the most populated state in the country. There is a high demand for housing and other services in general, which has driven up prices in the state.

Property values and taxes tend to be higher than most other states in the country. Things are reaching a point where millennials are leaving the state in droves.


It came out last year that Massachusetts figures at number six on the list of most expensive states for renters. You would have to work 104 hours a week to be able to live in a two-bedroom apartment at minimum wage.

The perpetual demand for housing and low supply are to blame for the exorbitant rental prices in Boston. In addition to that, electricity costs more in Massachusetts than it does in most other states in the country.

This makes running any kind of business costlier and has a trickle-down effect on consumers in Massachusetts.

Most Affordable States to Live in 2019

Now let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. These are some of the most affordable states to live in America that also offer residents a reasonable standard of living.


Arkansas is home to some of the most picturesque nature spots in all of the country; there’s a reason it’s called the Natural State. It is also among the more affordable states to live in in the United States.

The median cost for a housing unit is $120,600, and prices have appreciated only by about 3 percent in the last decade.


Oklahoma is well-known as being a state that produces some great sports teams.

It’s not just the professional teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Dodgers, even the high school teams in the state are known to put on exciting performances.

Another reason to be excited about Oklahoma is the affordable property. The median price of a home in the state is $118,600, compared to the national median of $216,200.

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Housing is one of the biggest reasons living in Indiana can prove to be such an easy choice financially.

The median price for a house in Indiana is $130,200, which is well below the national media. Other expenses like utilities and groceries also tend to be priced lower than in other states.

Indianapolis came in at number 3 on Glassdoor’s Best Cities for Jobs list in 2018, so there are options for those looking to move into the state at this time.


Tennessee is well-known for its country music and spicy hot chicken. There’s also a lot to love about the Volunteer State if you’re looking at being able to afford to live there. The median price of a home in Tennessee is $156,800.

Food is generally quite cheap, not to mention tasty. A basic doctor’s consultation costs $79, which is lower than most other American cities.


Cities in Michigan tend to rank pretty low on the cost of living indices.

Those savings don’t come at the cost of a good quality of life; Michigan boasts some of the best academic institutions in America and offers great healthcare to its residents. Median housing prices in Michigan come in at the $142,100 mark.

All things considered, the state offers a great blend of affordable living and living standards.

It’s clear from this list that there are a lot of options available to Americans looking to relocate for the sake of their finances. The best way to find out what the right place for you is by partnering with a real estate agent.

Clever Partner Agents are top-rated in their individual cities and provide exclusive benefits to our clients.

Fill out the form on this webpage to schedule a free no-obligation call with one of our agents.