The cheapest states to live in 2023

Looking for a great place to live on a budget? The good news is that you have your fair share of options, even in an economy like this.

Sean Pavon | Shutterstock

Only some states are like New York or California, where housing costs can sometimes match or exceed the overall cost of living in the cheapest places. There are many welcoming metropolitan areas in states where the cost of living is lower.

All of the states in the list below offer plenty of opportunities and a low cost of living, making them perfect for anyone looking to save money without compromising quality of life.

Maybe you’re looking for a new home, getting ready to start a business, or want to know where you can afford to retire. Either way, this list of the cheapest states to live in will get you started on the right foot.

What factors determine a state’s affordability?

Several factors go into determining a state’s affordability. The cost of living is one of the most important, as it includes the prices of basic necessities like food, housing, and transportation.

Median income is also a key factor as it determines how much residents can afford to spend on these necessities. You have to remember how crucial a state’s unemployment rate is; it largely dictates how easy it is to find a job and earn a living wage.

The 10 cheapest states to live in

So what are the cheapest states to live in? Here are the cheapest states and what they have to offer residents:


Mississippi is the cheapest state to live in, offering many benefits to its residents. The cost of living is relatively low and the median income is high enough that residents can afford to live comfortably. The unemployment rate is also low, which makes it easier to find a job.

Related: 8 US cities that will pay you to move there and work remotely in 2021

With its warm climate and affordable housing, Mississippi is a great place for retirees to live on a budget.


Arkansas has one of the lowest cost of living indicators in America. Home prices are much more affordable than in other states, and the average rent is generally lower. Arkansas is a great place for people on a budget, and you might be surprised at how many business owners live there.

Another advantage of living in Arkansas is its natural beauty. The state has rolling hills, forests, and rivers, making it an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. There are also plenty of attractions and cultural events in Arkansas, so there is something for everyone.

3. West Virginia

West Virginia is affordable, with a low cost of living and reasonably priced housing. The state also has a high median income of $48,037, so residents can afford to live comfortably. Plus, West Virginia offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. It also has the history, culture and scenery to rival any state.


The cost of living in Ohio is much lower than in other states and the job market is healthy. Most residents can easily find a well-paying job and afford a comfortable lifestyle. And if you’re an entrepreneur, few states are better suited for growing a business.

Related: 3 reasons you might want to move your startup to Ohio

Another major plus is Ohio’s location. The state is centrally located in the United States, so it’s easy to get anywhere you want. It is also home to several major cities, including Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. In other words, there is no shortage of entertainment and leisure opportunities.

If you’re looking for a state that offers a high quality of life at an affordable price, Ohio is the place to be. From its low cost of living to its central location, Ohio has a lot to offer residents. Your chances of landing a great job and enjoying a fulfilling life are high in Buckeye State.


One of Indiana’s most attractive features is the cost of living, which is considerably lower than many other states. It also has a mild and temperate climate, so it is comfortable to live there all year round.

Indiana is underrated for what it offers nature lovers. Hoosier State has a diverse landscape with a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you’re looking for a strong economy and low unemployment, Indiana has you covered. All in all a good place to live and work.


Kansas is one of the most affordable states in the United States. The cost of living is well below the national average and the unemployment rate is consistently below the national average. This makes Kansas a great place to live if you’re looking for value for money.

In addition to being affordable, Kansas offers a wide variety of recreational and cultural opportunities. There are many museums, theaters, and other attractions in the Midwest, and the state offers plenty of outdoor activities. Kansas has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a city or a small town.

Related: This is the living wage you need in all 50 states


Kentucky is a viable place to live and work because it’s affordable (and the people are friendly). Kentucky’s cost of living is among the lowest in the country, and the state has no personal income tax. This makes it a great place for people looking to save some money.

The Bluegrass State also has a low unemployment rate, making it ideal for job seekers. And if you love museums and historic sites, you’ll love exploring the state’s rich history and culture.

Plus, Kentucky also has a great outdoor scene, with plenty of waterfalls, lakes, and hiking and camping trails.

Don’t forget that the state is home to some of the highest quality spirits available, including its world-famous bourbon. Kentucky is worth considering if you are looking for a fantastic place to live and work.


Michigan is one of the most affordable states in the country. The cost of living is significantly lower than other states, and the median household income is also quite attractive at $59,234. If you’re on a budget and want to get the most out of your work and personal life, this might be the state for you.

In addition to being affordable, the Great Lakes State offers many benefits to its residents. It has a booming economy, many jobs, and unique business opportunities.

It also has a beautiful natural landscape with parks and recreation areas aplenty. Plus, it’s a comfortable place to live all year round (as long as you prepare for winter).

9. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a top-notch place for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is its affordability. The cost of living in Oklahoma is lower than the national average, and housing prices are significantly lower than the national average. Additionally, Oklahoma has no state income tax, providing significant savings for residents.

Related: 4 reasons why small towns are better for business

The Sooner State offers a variety of affordable entertainment options, from museums and art galleries to hiking trails and lakes.

For those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of parks and campsites to explore. Overall, Oklahoma is a great place to call home, thanks to its affordability and plenty of attractions.


The cost of living in Alabama is relatively affordable. Compared to other US states, the cost of housing, food, and health care is very reasonable. This makes the state ideal for anyone who wants to thrive on a budget.

Alabama is also home to a multitude of attractions. It is full of beautiful parks, nature trails and many excellent museums and historical sites.

And, of course, let’s not forget Alabama’s incredible food scene. From traditional Southern dishes to more modern dishes, there is something for everyone, especially when visiting Birmingham and other major cities.

Alabama is worth considering if you’re looking for a place to live that won’t break the bank. Just be prepared for some heat and humidity in the summer.

Honorable mentions

The 10 states above might be our favorites for balancing cost of living with quality of life, but there are plenty of other US states to consider in your search. Here are some states that offer reasonable grocery fees, home value, property tax rates, health fees, and transportation costs:

  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • Alaska
  • New Mexico

Choose a state to live in

You need to consider a variety of factors when choosing a state or area to live in. One of the most important is the type of lifestyle you want to lead. Do you want to be in a big city or a small town? Do you want to be close to your family and friends, or do you want to be alone?

Another critical factor is where your desired state falls in the cost of living index. How much can you spend on monthly rent, groceries, and other expenses that go into the average cost of living? Will you have good job opportunities or will you be able to expand your business in the area?

Also, consider the climate. If you don’t like snow, you might not want to live in a place with a lot of snow. If you are used to hot weather, you may want to avoid living in a cold climate.

The United States is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world. With so many states and regions, it’s essential to take your time and consider all of your options. Once you find the right place, you’ll be glad you took the time to find it.

Looking for more business content? View Entrepreneur’s catalog of articles, webinars, podcasts and books covering everything you need to know.

Leave a Comment