Everyone wants to be able to afford where they're living otherwise we'd have no one buying houses or considering the idea of homeowning, right? Fortunately, there are places in the U.S. that are far more affordable than others (we're looking at you, New England), and while many metrics factor into what makes a location 'affordable,' we have statistics from World Population Review to thank for knowing which made the list.
Of course, this can also vary depending on the budget that a person has set aside for their house or rental. With minimal numbers in mind for the cost of living as well as additional costs such as groceries, bills, and gas if using their own transportation, data reflects some major differences from one state to the next. While many have reputations for being overpriced and have priced themselves out of most people's budgets, there are also states that are super affordable - but, for some reason, don't sport the same reputation for being so. As of 2021, these are the most affordable states for a person to live in, with all things like bills and additional costs of living considered.
Ranking as number five on the list of the most affordable states to live in, New Mexico is not a bad option by any means for those who enjoy a little sunshine and dry weather. When it comes to groceries, New Mexico is on par with the average for the rest of the country so while costs aren't necessarily cut there, it is cheaper to afford housing and utilities. But of these are far lower than the national average which opens the state up to a wide range of budgets.
On average, a house can go for around $195k, give or take, while the average rent is very affordable at around $762 per month. For those seeking an even more affordable budget in the state, World Population Review recommends the southern half of the state, as the cost of transportation, healthcare, and utilities is drastically less than the rest of the state.
Known as a vacation state for those who frequent the Ozarks, Missouri is also listed in the top ten most affordable places to live, particularly around Joplin, Missouri. It's there that potential homebuyers can find the lowest cost of houses in the entire country, not just in the state, with the average four-bedroom house going for a little more than $200k.
While the state of Missouri is fairly affordable as a whole, the average cost of living is much lower than the rest of the country, as well, with grocery prices falling well under the national average. Therefore, those looking to buy a home and afford the cost of living after doing so can find solace in lower averages overall.
Oklahoma ranks as having the second-lowest cost of housing in the country, with only one state outranking it. While the rent on a two-bedroom apartment is a bit higher than others on the list at roughly $879 per month, according to World Population Review, the average cost of a house is much lower at around $125K. This is practically unheard of in many parts of the country, making it a lucrative option for those looking to own a home without paying for the price of a more expensive area.
For those who spend much of their time driving, Oklahoma is also currently sporting some of the lowest gas prices, making it appealing to those who drive their own cars to work and elsewhere. Utilities and groceries also fall below the national average, so there's not much to dislike about the cost of living in this state overall.
There's a bit of a catch-22 when it comes to living in Arkansas. While it does come with the lowest costs for houses in the country, it also brings with it the second-lowest of salaries in the country. Therefore, it's affordable, but only in relation to a person's salary which doesn't always make for the best match.
The average rent in Arkansas is just over $700 and the amount spent on a mortgage is roughly the same, with houses going for an average of almost $129k. With the average salary falling just short of $50k per year, it helps that the median for both utilities and groceries is lower than the average.
Officially making the list as the cheapest place to live in the country, Mississippi has plenty to offer those who want to rent or own a home. Statistics reflect a 15% decrease in the cost of living in this state compared to the rest of the country, which is significant. While the average salary in Mississippi is a little more than $48k, groceries and home items, in general, are the cheapest of anywhere in the country.
Childcare is also the most affordable here as opposed to the rest of the country, making it a great place for families. With an average rent of just under $800 per month, it's a state that makes itself affordable thanks to its unbelievably low cost of living.