Home > Moving > City Guides > Most Affordable States to Live in 2021
View of State Capitol lit up at night.

Most Affordable States to Live in 2021

Thinking about moving in 2021? These eight most affordable U.S. states offer budget-friendly living and housing costs, low unemployment rates, and much more. Find your new state to live in 2021 below!

  • Alabama
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

Alabama

  • Population: 4,903,185
  • Home Price: $128,500 median purchase price; $728 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $50,536
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
  • Cost of Living: 11% lower than the U.S. average

If you want an affordable place to live in the South, check out Alabama! Residents living in the northern part of the state can enjoy picturesque views of the Talladega Mountains and Red Mountains, while those living in the southern part of the state have access to top beaches and the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama has an incredible job market, providing employment opportunities in industries like automobile manufacturing, aerospace, aviation, bioscience, and farming. In addition, the Heart of Dixie is rich with history, so you can check out historical sites like the Edmund Pettus Bridge or Rosa Parks Museum.

Iowa

The Iowa Capitol Building with Golden Dome. Photo by Instagram User @iowacapitol

Photo via @iowacapitol

  • Population: 3,155,070
  • Home Price: $132,800 median purchase price; $715 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $60,523
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
  • Cost of Living: 10% lower than the U.S. average

Don’t write Iowa off as “flyover country.” The Hawkeye State is one of the most affordable places to live! Iowa boasts housing costs that are 27% cheaper than the national average, and the state’s job market continues to grow, thanks to top employers like Hy-Vee, Rockwell Collins, and Principal Financial Group. This Midwestern state is also home to high-ranking colleges and universities like University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and Drake University, which attract undergraduates, graduates, and educators alike. Plus, you’ll have plenty to do with popular attractions like the Iowa State Fair and amusement park Adventureland!

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you
Search

Michigan

The Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing, MI. Photo by Instagram User @skykissesearth

Photo via @skykissesearth

  • Population: 9,986,857
  • Home Price: $127,800 median purchase price; $799 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $57,144
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.9%
  • Cost of Living: 11% lower than the U.S. average

Even with nearly 10 million residents, Michigan’s cost of living ranks well below the national averageβ€”and Detroit, its largest city, is about 40% more affordable than Washington, DC, Brooklyn, and Seattle. The Great Lakes State is the automotive hub of the U.S. and headquarters of Ford Motor, which is the state’s biggest employer. Residents can also find jobs in Michigan with other top employers like Kellogg’s, Whirlpool, and The Dow Chemical Company. Love spending time outdoors? You’ll love Michigan’s great recreation spots, including the Great Lakes, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Silver Lake Sand Dunes, and Belle Isle Park!

Mississippi

The Mississippi Capitol Building in Jackson, MS. Photo by Instagram User @colleytravels

Photo via @colleytravels

  • Population: 2,976,149
  • Home Price: $105,700 median purchase price; $723 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $45,081
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.4%
  • Cost of Living: 16% lower than the U.S. average

The Magnolia State is one of the most affordable states in the U.S., thanks to its reasonable living and housing costs! While agriculture is Mississippi’s primary industry, residents can also find job opportunities with major employers like Sanderson Farms, University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Mississippi State University. While living in Mississippi, you can visit attractions like The Jackson Zoo, LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, and Elvis Presley Birthplace or even spend time in some of the country’s most affordable beach cities!

Nebraska

  • Population: 1,934,408
  • Home Price: $137,300 median purchase price; $745 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $61,439
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Cost of Living: 11% lower than the U.S. average

Looking for an affordable place to live in the Midwest? Check out Nebraska, which ranks among the top states for affordable housing! The Cornhusker State is known for being a top agricultural producer of beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and wheat, but residents can find plenty of work with other large employers like Union Pacific, Mutual of Omaha, and Werner Enterprisesβ€”or among the state’s Silicon Prairie tech startup scene. Nebraska also offers excellent attractions like the College World Series, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, and more!

Oklahoma

  • Population: 3,956,971
  • Home Price: $121,300 median purchase price; $742 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $52,919
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
  • Cost of Living: 14% lower than the U.S. average

With average statewide prices for utilities and housing at 4% and 31% below the national average, respectively, Oklahoma offers a low cost of living that’s worth checking out! Management, healthcare, and engineering are among Oklahoma’s primary industries, and residents can find employment with top employers like Helmerich & Payne, Saint Francis Health Systems, and The University of Oklahoma. In addition, the Sooner State has incredible attractions like Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, and Myriad Botanical Gardens!

Tennessee

The Tennessee State Capitol Building in Nashville, TN. Photo by Instagram User @andrewnotar

Photo via @andrewnotar

  • Population: 6,829,174
  • Home Price: $146,000 median purchase price; $782 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $53,320
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
  • Cost of Living: 11% lower than the U.S. average

Consider moving to Tennessee for great live music, amazing barbecue, and tons of affordability! On top of the low cost of living, people in The Volunteer State don’t have to pay any state income taxes on salaries and wages, which is a major plus! While the entertainment industry may supply the most jobs in Tennessee, residents can find careers in agriculture, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, and tourism. And if you’re an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and more, you’ll have the Great Smoky Mountains, Cherokee National Forest, and other top outdoor spots close by!

West Virginia

The West Virginia State Capitol Building in Charleston, WV. Photo by Instagram User @tilo_in_space

Photo via @tilo_in_space

  • Population: 1,792,147
  • Home Price: $107,400 median purchase price; $658 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $46,711
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
  • Cost of Living: 16% lower than the U.S. average

Wondering what makes West Virginia so affordable? This Southern state has housing prices 38% below the national average, which makes it one of the best states for first-time home buyers! The healthcare industry offers the most job opportunities in West Virginia, but residents can find employment in the law, engineering, education, and management industries as well. Nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia is known for its incredible outdoor recreation at attractions like Blackwater Falls State Park, Monongahela National Forest, and Seneca Caverns.

***

Moving in 2021? Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage facilities throughout the U.S., so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

Population and median household income statistics from United States Census Bureau. Unemployment statistics from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Home price and cost of living statistics from AreaVibes.

View of State Capitol lit up at night.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap