For many of us, the past year has brought about a slew of unexpected changes. The pandemic didn’t slow rising home prices or increase the amount of available inventory in major metro areas, but what it did do was dispel the idea that all office workers must be tethered to a physical location.
With remote work becoming more and more normalized, many Americans are wondering why they’re paying exorbitant housing costs for less space, less privacy, and less stability. With that in mind, let’s take a glance at the most affordable places to live in the United States by cost of living index*.
Mississippi: With a cost of living index of 84.8 (the national average is considered 100), Mississippi has the lowest housing costs in the country and has held the top spot for years. You can expect to pay around $134,000 for a home, so if you’re looking for a new home town where your money can go further, Mississippi might be for you.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma has the second-lowest cost of living in the U.S, with an index of 86.1. You can expect to pay $142,000 for a home in Oklahoma, meaning you’ll be able to afford that tailgating rig sooner than you planned.
Arkansas: Coming in third is Arkansas. The cost-of-living index is 87.8, and transportation, housing, and health care costs are all lower than the national averages. It’s estimated that for a family to live comfortably in the state they would need to make around $44,571 a year. Arkansas also offers a screamin’ deal on milk at an average price of $1.75 a gallon.
Other states with a low cost of living are Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Indiana.
Note that Massachusetts has a cost of living index of 131.6.
*Cost of living indexes are meant to compare the expenses an average person can expect to incur to acquire food, shelter, transportation, energy, clothing, education, healthcare, childcare, and entertainment in different regions.