The cost of living in the United States is now a hot subject. With everything from rent to groceries on the increase, the United States now has the world’s 26th highest cost of living and it’s no wonder Americans are feeling the pinch.
To find out which states have the highest cost of living in America, we looked at data from Forbes and Numbeo. We then compared that data to median household income data from the U.S Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) program to determine how far each state’s monthly income will go towards covering its basic needs like rent and utilities.
Before we dive into our list, let’s define what exactly means “cost of living” here. The term refers to how much money it takes for an average person to cover their expenses each month based on their standard of living—the higher these costs are, the more expensive your life will be when compared with someone else who lives elsewhere (and vice versa).
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The cost of living varies greatly from state to state, with big urban regions having the greatest costs. The most expensive states to reside in include those in the Northeast, along the Pacific Coast, and those that are not contiguous.
Housing expenditures dictate the cost of living expenses since it is where Americans spend the majority of their money. As a result, places with considerable competition for housing will be the costliest. Transportation expenses, closeness to resources, childcare costs, and municipal taxes are all variables that influence the cost of living.
If you’re interested in moving to another state, check out our list below of the US states with the highest cost of living in 2022.
When you think of the most beautiful places in the world, Hawaii might be one of the first places that come to mind. With its lush greenery and pristine beaches, it’s no wonder why so many people want to move there.
However, with such high real estate costs, it’s not surprising that living in Hawaii is expensive.
In fact, according to Business Insider, Honolulu is the fifth most expensive city in America for rent alone—and the second most expensive city for groceries.
Hawaii tops our list as having one of the highest costs of living indexing 193.3 (and no sales tax). The state has been ranked as having one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
As of September 2022, the average sale price of a single-family house on Oahu is $1,100,000, a major record high. The average monthly electricity bill is $342.21. In Honolulu, gas costs in May 2022 are at $5.45 per gallon. The average Hawaii resident spends at least $333 per month on food.
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The cost of living has also been increasing steadily since 2012 at around 5% annually; however, wages have not kept up with this growth rate which means residents must earn more income just to maintain their current standard of living.
California is another state with a very high cost of living in 2022. The Golden State has been high-ranking for the past five years and is expected to retain its crown through 2022.
California is the second most expensive state in America. It has a 142.2 cost of living index.
Many experts believe that just 30% of your monthly salary goes toward rent. You’ll need to earn $106,240 a year to be able to pay the average rent of $2,656 for a one-bedroom home in California comfortably.
In general, the average Californian spends $233 to $266 per month on food.
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They spend an average of $101.49 a month on energy, and $3,792 on food annually. A gallon of standard gas in California costs $5.77 on average.
According to a recent report, Massachusetts is the third most expensive state in the country.
The cost of living index for Massachusetts was 107.8 in 2017 and has climbed to 135 since then. Massachusetts ranked as the third most expensive state to live in America in 2022.
The housing market is one big reason why it’s so expensive to live in Massachusetts.
The median home price here is $518,000, and the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Massachusetts costs about $1,400 per month.
Food costs between $3,601 and $4,000 per person per year in Massachusetts. As a result, the living costs for food are above the national average.
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Utilities are more expensive in Boston than they are in other areas of the city. The overall monthly energy bills are roughly $250.47. A doctor’s appointment costs around $186.
New Jersey is one of the most expensive states in America to live in. It’s also one of the most densely populated, with nearly 10 million people living within its borders. It has several tourist destinations, including Atlantic City and the Pine Barrens.
New Jersey is the fourth most expensive state in America. It has a 115.2 cost of living index.
According to a nationwide report, New Jersey is the fourth most expensive state in the US for rent. The report states that the hourly rate a New Jersey family must make — working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year — to pay the rent and utilities for a safe and modest house in New Jersey has climbed by 56% since 2000.
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The state’s average renter makes $15.82 per hour, which is $8.72 less than the hourly rate required to finance a small unit.
Approximately 61 percent of renters in New Jersey do not make enough money to pay the market rate rent for a two-bedroom unit.
Residents spend between $3,201 and $3,600 per person on food each year. This works out to between $266 and $300 each month.
The average monthly rate for all of your energy bills is about $181.01.
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A single adult fare on a bus line starts at $1.60 and increases based on route length and zone.
Things will probably be a little more expensive if you live near New York City. That’s one of the reasons Connecticut ranked fifth.
Again, housing is a major factor in the ranking. However, utilities are higher here than in most other states. Experts also point out that Connecticut citizens vote for high-quality services at all levels. The typical single-family home in the state costs $318,096, while a two-bedroom apartment costs $1,177 per month.
Utilities are among the most expensive in the country, with an average monthly bill of $438.21.
Residents of Connecticut spend around $267 and $300 monthly on food.
Transportation costs around $63 per month.
A doctor’s appointment will cost between $100 and $140, a dentist visit will cost around $87 and $122 and an eye doctor’s appointment would cost from $127 to $155.
Despite the high prices, earnings are greater than the national average. The typical annual income for a family of four is $120,379, which is significantly higher than the $99,955 necessary for a living wage. However, the state’s unemployment rate, at 4.9%, is among the highest in the country.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that the cost of living in the United States is a complex issue that can’t be reduced to a single factor.
The cost of living depends not only on income but also on the quality and availability of goods and services in each state.
All of the cities in the states mentioned have annual costs of living that are high, which can make savings and retirement hard to reach, especially if you are not earning a high income. So if you live in one of these states, think about what other types of changes can be made to improve the cost of living.
What a interesting article that has nothing to do with preparing. I assume that those who live in those areas already know its expensive to live there.
Sweet article I guess. Don’t live in the city
All blue states. Good.
We sure do. At least here in California you can always count on getting screwed. If I sold here where would I go where the worms that moved from here haven’t F’d up? I wish states would vote in borders of sorts that don’t allow liberals to move about .
Red States could pass laws that prohibit all new residents from voting in any election except for maybe the presidency.
For 7 years.
Gives them a chance to live a competent lifestyle for a while.
Build a Wall!
Like Escape from LA or Escape from New York!
Normally an article like this would also include the lowest cost of living states. And also, list all of the states in order. So I feel like this article is unfinished. It should say something like “part 2 is coming tomorrow” don’t you think?
why : judgement
Godless, Baby killer state in the union
Crime, Greed, selfish as you can get
promotes anti god policies
most discrimination state by policies
promotes lust, fornication , adultry, false god worship, anything but truth
taxes everything , lies to its people
laws for criminals , not citizens
election theft like no other , only where dead and illigals vote and never see a ballot
do the research , do the math , do the work to see the truth
read about the laws
called santuary , but in reality , setting up for more slavery and slaves to work for free to pay the tax role
All are Democratically run states.
In most of the cases it does not matter where you live because you don’t have the money to move so your stuck where you are at. Thus you have to learn to make the best out of what you have.
Most people would not move for one major reason can you actually trust anyone telling you that you would be better off here or there. See every where you live the salaries usualy follow close to the expense or people would not live there. In some place they might have high expense in fuel so the companies have to compensate by giving a high salary or they will not be able to get employees.
If you do the calculations you will find that now for laborers the income just about covers the expenses but as you go up the ladder you might have 10 to 20 % left over.
So it does not matter where you live. All this crap about this place cost more than this place is just that crap because the lower cost areas have lower pay rates and higher cost areas have higher pay rates. I know I have worked in many different locations.
DREADED: You are absolutely correct, except perhaps for California, where to own a home is nigh onto impossible! HOWEVER, we live in Central New York State, which is one of the loveliest places in the USA, except perhaps near the Rockies. The food, water, quality stores, etc. are all nearby or within less than 1 hr. away, MANY FAMOUS ORGANIC FARMS, and cost is ridiculously low to live. Our home is 4 bedrooms, plus, plus, plus with 5 acres of very good former farmland, on which we have added many berry bushes, including several that are superfoods, many fruit trees, with a nationally protected wetland beyond the limits of the woods behind our back yard, That means should the water supply go, we can easily access 5 gal. buckets of water to flush toilets (NOT drink it!), and the water attracks deer and tons of geese, so we would have access to hunting for food right on our property(!), and there is so much more. The town is smallish, but not tiny, has access to so many benefits, but because we live not far from Lake Ontario, and so many vineyards and farmers everywhere. So, our home, a 4 bedroom home with one stained glass window and a lovely fireplace with propane heater in it are wonderful and helpful. There is so much to offer in this area, but NYS is very expensive via taxes. HOWEVER, we cannot afford to ever move south due to the insane housing prices down south nowdays. What we have here, I am told in Colorado would go for more than 1/2 million in Colorado, yet we figure we’d be lucky to get $170,000 for it locally, so no”equivalent” moving possible! And YES, I know that so many people think that living in NYS must be like living in a hell-hole, but it’s not! We live much closer to Erie, PA than we do to NYC, which is more than fine with us!! The people are generally very nice here. You can count on most friends staying friends with you and our church is EXTRAORDINARY!! So many generous and kind people in this area, though I am NOT talking about Rochester, NY anymore.,,comparable a bit to the dangers of Chicago nowdays, they tell me. It used to be great, but now we avoid it except for certain suburbs that are still more or less awesome! Syracuse is just fine and has access to tons of whatever you need, some top surgeons out there, too! Anyway, this is long, so I am finished now. Let me tell you, though, I have heard how horrible NYS is for decades, but I tell you that where our daughter is moving to next week, which is Northern Jersey, is 2x’s plus more expensive than here, and a LOT more at risk to live in!
AND I FORGOT TO MENTION, THERE ARE LOADS OF PREPPERS AND CONSERVATIVES LIVING IN OUR AREA, TOO!! We are all hoping and praying to get rid of evil Chuck Schummer in the midterms this year. PLEASE GOD!! WeLoveTrump!!
Bad gun laws and I am sure corrupt politically
For example though, in Boise Idaho if you were born there or lived there for some time you would find now that, due to the influx of people in a major way , you can’t afford to live there anymore. The wages paid there sure don’t support buying a new home. I wonder what those folks are going to do. Used to be a great town. To many people found out.
Not a good comparison as only 3 to 4 states mentioned, with no listing of ranking for the rest. So in my eyes this is only good for those who live in states mentioned. so Thumbs Down on info for this article.
Which area do you live in? I am looking to
Move to Upstate NY in 2023…
No thanks swamp county and hurricanes
I agree with the sentiments from above: this list leaves a lot to be desired from its lack of information and comparison. I have no desire to move, and if I did, I would not be looking for a drastic change from my culture and weather. If my boss told me that I had to move “up north”, I would have an easier time finding a new boss instead of a new place to live.
Cost of living is determined by your area, and affected by your government. I have told new comers in my area, those that are trying to get some of their old comforts and conveniences back, to get used to their new area the way it is. I don’t want my taxes going up because some city folk have decided to destroy this town like they did the town they left. IF I ever did have to make a move, it would be to an area that is already suited to me, without me wanting to change it.
The problem I have with the author’s list is it makes a general comparison and applies it to a state. The island of Oahu compared to the Big Island (Hawaii) is more expensive, but that does not mean the whole state is cost prohibitive. Same with California (but with their taxes, I don’t see how it could be cheap to live anywhere there); the cities in California are going to cost a fortune, but get away from the cities, and the cost of living goes down. The list is a decent beginning for determining a good place to live, but it is an unfair comparison.
It depends. I live in the High Desert of California. Very rural. Am on grid/off grid. I grow all my own food. Having 360 days you can grow is advantageous. My property taxes for 5 acres are $400 a year.
I have solar gain in winter to keep warm, and home made evap coolers for summer. My electric bill, with having 4 evap coolers running in the summer is $120 a month.
it depends on how you live, what your goals are, and whether you need all those things the TV keeps telling you that you need.
I am single, live on $700 a month with plenty left over for Prepper goodies. I have 3 years at least, of food stored that came from my gardens. I make all my food from scratch.
I have two Dodge diesels, both 1995, that haven’t had a single major repair yet.
Choosing wisely is paramount, not where you live.
I love swamps and hurricanes.
The usual suspects.