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10 Cheapest States to Live In This Year [2023]

10 Cheapest States to Live In This Year
10 Cheapest States to Live In This Year
Brian Reese
August 21, 2023

Today, we reveal and explain the Top 10 Cheapest States to Live In for 2023!

We have carefully ranked these states from 1 to 10, based on average home value, cheapest home prices, overall affordability, total tax burden, and the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) as of August 2023.

With the average home value in the U.S. currently at $348,126, it’s important to factor cost-effective options for homeownership in addition to overall affordability and tax impacts without compromising on quality of life.

While these 10 states offer a diverse range of housing options to suit various lifestyles and preferences, we encourage you to conduct thorough online research and carefully consider your personal priorities, including job opportunities and family needs.

Okay, let’s explore the 10 best states to live with lowest cost!

Key Findings of Our Research:

Alabama is currently the #1 cheapest state to live in
  • Alabama is currently the #1 cheapest state to live in for 2023 with an average home value of $222,005, cheapest homes rank of #10/50, overall affordability rank of #1/50, and total tax burden rank of #12/50.
  • Hawaii is currently the #1 most expensive state to live in for 2023 with an average home value of $836,677, cheapest homes rank of #50/50, overall affordability rank of #49/50, and total tax burden rank of #49/50.
  • Alabama is the most affordable state to live in for 2023 while California is the most expensive state to live in.
  • Hawaii is the most expensive state to buy a home in 2023 with an average home value of $836,677, which is $488,551 higher than the national average home value of $348,126.  

What are the Cheapest States to Live In?

What are the Cheapest States to Live In
  • #1. Alabama
  • #2. Missouri
  • #3. Oklahoma
  • #4. West Virginia
  • #5. Tennessee
  • #6. Arkansas
  • #7. Michigan
  • #8. Mississippi
  • #9. Wyoming
  • #10. South Carolina

Top 10 Most Affordable States to Live In

Top 10 Most Affordable States to Live In

#1. Alabama

Alabama is the #1 cheapest place to live in the United States for 2023! The state beckons with its captivating blend of southern hospitality, natural beauty, and cultural richness. From the vibrant cities to the serene countryside, the state offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere that fosters strong community connections. With a lower cost of living compared to many other states, Alabama provides a chance to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank. Its diverse landscapes, ranging from pristine Gulf Coast beaches to rolling hills and forests, cater to a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re drawn to its historical significance, culinary delights, or a relaxed lifestyle steeped in tradition, Alabama invites you to experience a unique tapestry of experiences that make it a place worth calling home.

#2. Missouri

Missouri is the #2 most affordable state to live in for 2023! Missouri extends an inviting invitation with its enchanting mix of Midwestern allure, unspoiled natural landscapes, and a dynamic cultural pulse. From vibrant urban centers to the serenity of rural expanses, the state offers a warm and inclusive environment that fosters close-knit communities. With a cost of living that strikes a harmonious balance between comfort and affordability, Missouri empowers residents to embrace life’s pleasures and pursuits. Its diverse geography, spanning from the rolling Ozark hills to the majestic Mississippi River, caters to a wide spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Whether you’re captivated by its historical significance, tantalized by local flavors, or seeking a blend of urban verve and relaxed living, Missouri extends an open-hearted invitation to weave your story within its rich tapestry of experiences, making it an exceptional place to put down roots and thrive.

#3. Oklahoma

Rounding out the top 3 cheapest states to live in right now is Oklahoma at #3 of 3! Oklahoma offers an inviting embrace, boasting a captivating fusion of southern hospitality, expansive vistas, and a thriving cultural pulse. From dynamic urban hubs to tranquil rural landscapes, the state nurtures a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its residents. With a cost of living that ensures a comfortable and rewarding lifestyle, Oklahoma empowers you to relish life’s pleasures while nurturing your ambitions. Its diverse geography, ranging from sweeping prairies to ancient mountains, caters to a broad spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether captivated by its storied history, savoring its distinctive flavors, or seeking the perfect blend of urban vitality and relaxed living, Oklahoma warmly welcomes you to become a part of its vibrant tapestry, offering an extraordinary place to put down roots and flourish.

#4. West Virginia

West Virginia is a gorgeous (and very affordable) state to live in with unique and compelling experiences that appeal to a variety of individuals and families. The state’s natural beauty, close-knit communities, and rich cultural heritage are just a few reasons why many choose to call West Virginia home. From the rolling hills of the Appalachian Mountains to the winding rivers and charming small towns, the landscape is a picturesque backdrop for a tranquil and fulfilling lifestyle. The relatively lower cost of living allows for financial flexibility, while the strong sense of community fosters genuine connections. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, a peaceful environment, or a place where history comes alive, West Virginia offers a harmonious blend of tradition and progress that creates a distinctive quality of life.

#5. Tennessee

Tennessee offers a myriad of reasons that draw people to its enchanting landscapes and vibrant communities. The state’s diverse geography, ranging from the majestic Great Smoky Mountains to the lively urban centers, provides a backdrop for a rich and fulfilling life. Tennessee’s renowned music scene, historical significance, and southern hospitality create a tapestry of cultural experiences. The affordability of living here allows for a comfortable lifestyle, whether you’re in a bustling city or a charming small town. With a warm climate, a wide range of outdoor activities, and a sense of belonging within close-knit neighborhoods, Tennessee invites you to experience a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity that makes it a uniquely inviting place to call home.

#6. Arkansas

Arkansas is a great state to live in with a compelling mix of attributes that cater to various lifestyles. The state’s natural beauty, characterized by its lush forests, picturesque lakes, and stunning landscapes, provides a serene backdrop for those seeking tranquility and outdoor adventures. Arkansas’s cost of living is notably lower than the national average, enabling a comfortable lifestyle and financial flexibility. The state’s rich cultural heritage, historical sites, and unique local cuisines add depth to daily life. With close-knit communities, friendly neighbors, and a relaxed pace, Arkansas embodies southern hospitality and offers a respite from the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re drawn to the joy of outdoor exploration, a strong sense of community, or an escape to a simpler way of life, Arkansas welcomes you to embrace its authentic charm and create a life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

#7. Michigan

Michigan opens the door to a wealth of opportunities and experiences that cater to a diverse range of preferences. The state’s natural beauty is showcased by the Great Lakes, expansive forests, and scenic landscapes that offer a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Michigan’s vibrant cities like Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids provide cultural richness, job opportunities, and a lively arts scene. The state’s four distinct seasons allow for a variety of recreational activities throughout the year. With a cost of living that varies across regions, Michigan offers options for various budget ranges. Strong educational institutions, a sense of community, and the possibility of lakeside living contribute to the state’s appeal. Whether you’re drawn to urban excitement, outdoor exploration, or a blend of both, Michigan invites you to embrace its diverse offerings and create a life that resonates with your passions and ambitions.

#8. Mississippi

Mississippi includes a unique blend of attributes that resonate with those who value a slower pace, rich history, and genuine connections. The state’s southern charm is reflected in its warm hospitality, making it an inviting place to call home. Mississippi’s affordability stands out, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle that doesn’t compromise on quality. Its diverse landscapes, from the serene Gulf Coast to the rolling hills, offer outdoor enthusiasts a range of activities to enjoy. The state’s deep cultural roots, reflected in its music, cuisine, and historical sites, add layers of depth to daily life. With close-knit communities and a sense of belonging, Mississippi fosters a way of life that celebrates traditions and simple pleasures. Whether you’re seeking a laid-back atmosphere, a strong sense of community, or an appreciation for heritage, Mississippi welcomes you to embrace its distinctive character and create a life that resonates with your values and aspirations.

#9. Wyoming

Wyoming presents a myriad of compelling reasons that resonate with individuals seeking a unique and authentic lifestyle. The state’s wide-open spaces, majestic mountains, and unspoiled natural beauty create an environment that fosters a deep connection to nature and a love for outdoor activities. Wyoming’s low population density offers a sense of tranquility and room to breathe, making it ideal for those who cherish privacy and solitude. The state’s strong sense of community and welcoming spirit create an atmosphere of genuine relationships and camaraderie. With a cost of living that’s relatively reasonable compared to other states, Wyoming allows for financial freedom while embracing a slower pace of life. The state’s Western heritage, cowboy culture, and rich history add depth to daily experiences. Whether you’re captivated by wide horizons, seeking a close-knit community, or longing for a life in harmony with the land, Wyoming invites you to embrace its untamed beauty and create a life that aligns with your aspirations and values.

#10. South Carolina

South Carolina offers a captivating blend of attractions that resonate with a diverse range of lifestyles and preferences. The state’s stunning coastline, complete with picturesque beaches and charming coastal towns, provides a haven for those who appreciate oceanfront living and water activities. South Carolina’s rich history is woven into its architecture, plantations, and cultural landmarks, offering a deep connection to the past. The state’s warm climate and mild winters appeal to those seeking a temperate environment throughout the year. With a cost of living that’s often more affordable than many other coastal states, South Carolina offers the opportunity to enjoy life’s comforts without compromise. The state’s culinary scene, Southern hospitality, and vibrant arts communities add layers of depth to daily life. Whether you’re drawn to beachside serenity, historical exploration, or a combination of both, South Carolina welcomes you to embrace its unique blend of traditions and modern living, and to create a life that resonates with your desires and ambitions.

50 States Ranked From Cheapest to Most Expensive (2023 State Affordability Rankings):

Note: The lower the number the better.

Cheapest States RankStateAverage Home Value in 2023Cheapest Home Prices RankOverall Affordability RankTotal Tax Burden Rank
4West Virginia$155,1481228
10South Carolina$287,618181214
14South Dakota$296,09621227
16North Dakota$249,529142911
18North Carolina$320,922251816
32New Mexico$293,325202637
35New Hampshire$451,58542403
46Rhode Island$435,044384640
47New Jersey$487,868434845
48New York$449,285414750

Source Data:

We used the following source data to calculate the cheap cost of living states rankings (all 50 states) across each of the 4 categories: #1. Average home value, #2. Cheapest home prices, #3. Overall affordability rank, and #4. Total tax burden rank.

About the Author

Brian Reese VA Claims Insider

Brian Reese is a senior advisor and co-owner at District Lending. He is one of the world’s leading experts in veteran benefits, having helped millions of veterans secure their financial future since 2013. Brian is the founder VA Claims Insider, an education-based Coaching & Consulting company whose mission is to educate and empower veterans to get the VA disability benefits they’ve earned for their honorable service. A former active-duty air force officer, Brian deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a distinguished graduate of management of the United States Air Force Academy and earned his MBA as a National Honor Scholar from the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.

In Brian’s Words:

“As a military veteran, I’ve made it my life’s mission to help people live happier and wealthier lives. District Lending brings this mission to life. We believe in integrity, honesty, and transparency, which is why you’ll see our rates right on our website. You’ll find lower rates and zero lending fees, which means you can buy your dream home for less. The savings are passed on to you — the way it should be.”

– Brian Reese, Advisor and Co-Owner, District Lending

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