Just how widely can the cost of living vary from state to state? Financial website GoBankingRates.com culled 2016 data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, examining six categories of living expenses: housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous items. The site used the data to calculate each state's overall cost of living index.
Hawaii is the priciest state to live in, where cost-of-living expenses are 67.4 percent higher than the national average, according to the analysis. Housing costs in the state top the national average by 130 percent, the study shows.
On the other end of the spectrum, the cost of living in Mississippi is the lowest in the U.S.—14 percent below the national average, according to GoBankingRates.com's study. Housing costs there are 31.6 percent cheaper than the national average, and groceries are nearly 6 percent less.
According to GoBankingRates.com, the states with the highest cost of living in the U.S. are:
- Washington, D.C.
- New York
Meanwhile, the states with the lowest cost of living in the U.S. are:
Source: “From California to New York: The Cost of Living Across America,” GoBankingRates.com (May 11, 2017)