In this post, we’re going to explore the 5 best northern states to live in this year!
We ranked our list of the best northern states according to the following criteria (in order):
- Job opportunities
- Strength of economy
- Overall cost of living
- Taxes and financial considerations
- Climate and weather
- Quality of education
- Safety and crime rates
- Diversity, history, recreational, and cultural opportunities
Alright, let’s jump into the top states in the north to live in right now, along with the pros and cons of each state.
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Table of Contents
Key Findings of Our Research:
- Pennsylvania is the #1 best northern state to live in this year
- Philadelphia, PA is the #1 best northern city to live in right now
- Iowa is the #2 best northern state to live in this year
- Des Moines, IA is the #2 best northern city to live in right now
- Of these 5 states, Iowa is the cheapest northern state to live in with an Average Home Value of $211,572 compared to the National Average Home Value of $348,126
- Of the 5 states we ranked, Massachusetts has the highest Average Home Value of $590,457 compared to the National Average Home Value of $348,126
What is the Best Northern State to Live In?
Pennsylvania is currently the #1 best northern state to live in and it’s also the #1 overall best state to buy a house in 2024.
Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of cities and rural areas, making it suitable for various lifestyles.
With a rich history, vibrant culture, and affordable home prices, it presents an attractive option for homebuyers.
Finally, the state provides excellent educational institutions and a strong job market.
What are the Best Northern States to Live In Right Now?
- #1. Pennsylvania
- #2. Iowa
- #3. Indiana
- #4. Ohio
- #5. Massachusetts
Top 5 Best Northern States to Live In (2024 Update)
Nestled in the heart of the northeastern United States, Pennsylvania stands as a captivating mosaic of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the iconic cityscape of Philadelphia to the tranquil expanses of the Appalachian Mountains, this state offers an enticing tapestry of experiences for those seeking a new place to call home. With its renowned educational institutions, diverse economy, and a balanced mix of urban and rural living, Pennsylvania opens its doors to individuals and families looking for a well-rounded and enriching lifestyle. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the finest reasons that make Pennsylvania a truly exceptional state to reside in. Pennsylvania has an Average Home Value of $257,511 compared to the National Average of $348,126.
- Geographic Diversity: Pennsylvania offers a mix of urban centers like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, along with rural areas and natural beauty like the Pocono Mountains.
- Education and Healthcare: The state is home to several prestigious universities and has a strong healthcare system.
- History and Culture: Pennsylvania played a significant role in American history, with attractions like Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the Gettysburg National Military Park.
- Affordability: Pennsylvania has a relatively affordable cost of living compared to some other northeastern states.
- Outdoor Activities: There are opportunities for outdoor recreation, including state parks, hiking, and water activities.
- Traffic Congestion: Urban areas can experience traffic congestion, especially in cities like Philadelphia.
- Economic Disparities: Some regions face economic challenges and job opportunities may vary across the state.
- Weather Variability: The state experiences a range of weather conditions, including cold winters and humid summers.
Iowa is a fantastic northern state that embodies the essence of Midwestern charm and tranquility. Known for its warm-hearted communities, sprawling farmlands, and a sense of belonging that extends to all who set foot here, Iowa is a place where life moves at a pace that lets you savor every moment. With its affordable cost of living, strong sense of community, and a backdrop of picturesque landscapes, Iowa offers a unique blend of modern convenience and rustic appeal. Whether you’re captivated by the fields of corn or the vibrant local culture, Iowa stands ready to welcome you to a life filled with genuine connections and the joys of simple pleasures. Join us as we explore the best reasons why Iowa’s open arms make it a truly special place to call home. Iowa has an Average Home Value of $211,572 compared to the National Average of $348,126.
- Strong Community: Iowa is known for its strong sense of community and friendly residents.
- Cost of Living: The cost of living is generally lower compared to the national average, making it an affordable place to live.
- Education: The state has good educational opportunities with well-regarded universities and schools.
- Agriculture and Scenic Beauty: Iowa’s landscape is dominated by farmland, offering a rural charm and scenic beauty.
- Low Crime Rates: Iowa typically has lower crime rates compared to national averages.
- Limited Urban Opportunities: Iowa may have fewer urban amenities and job opportunities compared to larger states.
- Weather Extremes: The state experiences both cold winters and hot summers, which might not be appealing to everyone.
- Cultural Amenities: While there are cultural opportunities, they may be more limited compared to larger cities.
Indiana is a very welcoming state that harmonizes the allure of the Midwest with a vibrant spirit of growth and innovation. From its charming and warming communities to its diverse landscapes, Indiana offers a tapestry of opportunities for those seeking a place to call home. With a balanced mix of urban and rural living, affordable costs, and a rich array of cultural and recreational offerings, Indiana presents a canvas for a fulfilling life. Whether you’re captivated by the charm of small towns or the energy of its cities, Indiana invites you to embark on a journey of discovery and possibility. Join us as we uncover the top reasons why Indiana’s blend of tradition and progress makes it an exceptional destination to put down roots and thrive. Indiana has an Average Home Value of $231,519 compared to the National Average of $348,126.
- Affordability: Indiana has a lower cost of living compared to many other states, especially in terms of housing.
- Diverse Economy: The state has a mix of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and technology.
- Education: Indiana is home to respected universities and colleges.
- Sports Culture: The state has a strong sports culture, particularly with basketball and racing.
- Natural Beauty: Indiana offers outdoor recreational opportunities with lakes, forests, and state parks.
- Weather Fluctuations: The state experiences a range of weather conditions, including cold winters and humid summers.
- Limited Cultural Scene: While there are cultural attractions, they may be less extensive compared to larger states.
- Job Opportunities: Certain specialized job opportunities might be more limited compared to larger cities.
Step into Ohio, where a dynamic blend of heritage and progress creates an inviting backdrop for a life well-lived. From the bustling urban centers to the serene countryside, Ohio offers a diverse array of experiences for those seeking a place to call home. With a central location that connects you to the heart of the Midwest, affordable living, and a rich tapestry of cultural and recreational offerings, Ohio stands as a canvas for your aspirations. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant city life or the tranquility of its landscapes, Ohio beckons you to join a community that embraces tradition while fostering innovation. Join us as we explore the prime reasons why Ohio’s fusion of history and modernity makes it a compelling choice to build a meaningful and fulfilling life. Ohio has an Average Home Value of $219,781 compared to the National Average of $348,126.
- Central Location: Ohio’s central location makes it easily accessible to other parts of the Midwest and the East Coast.
- Education: The state boasts several well-regarded universities and educational institutions.
- Affordability: Ohio has a reasonable cost of living, with relatively affordable housing options.
- Diverse Economy: The state has a diverse range of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and technology.
- Cultural and Recreational Opportunities: Ohio offers cultural attractions, sports events, and outdoor activities.
- Weather Variability: The state experiences changing weather patterns, with cold winters and hot summers.
- Urban vs. Rural Divide: While there are urban centers like Cleveland and Columbus, rural areas might have fewer amenities and opportunities.
- Economic Disparities: Some regions may face economic challenges and job availability could vary.
The great state of Massachusetts, a place that seamlessly weaves history, culture, and innovation into its fabric of everyday life. From the iconic streets of Boston to the tranquil shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts offers a spectrum of experiences for those seeking a place to call home. With its world-renowned educational institutions, diverse economy, and a rich blend of urban excitement and natural beauty, this state beckons individuals and families alike. Whether you’re enchanted by the historical landmarks or inspired by the cutting-edge industries, Massachusetts invites you to join a community that values tradition while embracing progress. Join us as we delve into the top reasons why Massachusetts’ fusion of past and present makes it an unparalleled destination to create a life of depth and opportunity. Massachusetts has an Average Home Value of $590,457 compared to the National Average of $348,126. It’s the most expensive place to live of our top 5 northern states.
- Education: Massachusetts is home to renowned universities and has a strong education system.
- Job Opportunities: The state has a thriving economy with a focus on technology, healthcare, and finance sectors.
- Cultural Richness: Massachusetts offers a wealth of cultural attractions, historical sites, and diverse cuisine.
- Access to Boston: Boston is a major city with opportunities for education, employment, and entertainment.
- Healthcare: The state has a robust healthcare system and medical facilities.
- Cost of Living: The cost of living, especially housing costs in cities like Boston, can be high.
- Traffic and Congestion: Boston and surrounding areas can experience traffic congestion and limited parking.
- Weather: Massachusetts experiences cold winters and potentially humid summers.
- Urban Crowds: Living in or near Boston might involve dealing with a busy and crowded urban environment.
- Taxes: The state has relatively high taxes, including income and property taxes.
Conclusion and Wrap-Up
We hope you enjoyed this carefully curated list of the top 5 best northern states for 2024!
Remember that it’s crucial to thoroughly research and consider factors like cost of living, climate, job opportunities, education, healthcare, and lifestyle preferences, among others, when deciding where to live.
Each state has its advantages and disadvantages, and what may be the best fit for one person may not be the same for another (that’s okay!)
If you have any questions, please send us a note through our website and we’ll get back to you right away.
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About the Author
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.