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Most Affordable States to Live in 2022

Thinking about moving in 2022? These 11 affordable U.S. states offer budget-friendly living and housing costs, low unemployment rates, and much more. Check out this list of the most affordable states to live in 2022!

Alabama

  • Population: 4,903,185
  • Home Price: $128,500 median purchase price; $728 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $50,536
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Cost of Living: 11% lower than the U.S. average

If you want to live in an affordable Southern state, check out Alabama! Residents living in northern Alabama will enjoy picturesque views of the Talladega National Forest and Red Mountains, while those living in southern Alabama have access to top beaches and the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to offering low sales tax and income tax, Alabama offers jobs in industries like architecture, engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, and more! For those looking for things to do in Alabama, the Heart of Dixie is rich with history, so be sure to visit historical sites in Montgomery or Birmingham, like the Rosa Parks Museum or Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

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Arkansas

Arkansas State Capitol. Photo by Instagram user @jp_506

Photo via @jp_506

  • Population: 3,017,804
  • Home Price: $114,700 median purchase price, $689 median rent price
  • Median Household Income: $47,597
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Cost of Living: 15% lower than the U.S. average

Wondering why so many people choose to live in Arkansas? This Southern state has the most affordable housing prices—55% below the national average! But that’s not all—people looking to live in an affordable state in 2022 can find a home through the Life Works Initiative. The program offers a $10,000 incentive to move to northwest Arkansas, a region that includes one of the best places to live in the South, Fayetteville! Residents can find jobs with Arkansas’ largest employers like Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, and Action Mechanical Contractor. After the 9-to-5, relax and find out why Arkansas earned the nickname, “the Natural State.” Enjoy the incredible outdoor recreation attractions in the Ozark Mountains, Petit Jean State Park, and Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Georgia

Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Instagram user @paulkosiorek

Photo via @paulkosiorek

  • Population: 10,617,423
  • Home Price: $152,400 median purchase price, $897 median rent price
  • Median Household Income: $58,700
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Cost of Living: 7% lower than the U.S. average

Despite being one of the most populated states, the cost of living in Georgia ranks well below the national average, making it one of the best states to live in 2022! Residents in Georgia will find affordable housing prices 16% below the national average as well as low taxes, which makes Georgia a very affordable state to call home. Applicants in the Empire State of the South can find jobs with top employers in Georgia, like The Coca-Cola Company, United Parcel Service, and Delta Airlines, which are all headquartered in Atlanta! Explore Georgia’s great outdoors in Chehaw Park, ride roller coasters at Wild Adventures, or learn the history of one of the world’s most beloved fountain drinks at the World of Coca-Cola. History buffs can spend the day at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, visiting historic sites such as the Birth Home of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as Ebenezer Baptist Church.

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Indiana

Indiana State Capitol. Photo by Instagram user @exploreindyy

Photo via @exploreindyy

  • Population: 6,732,219
  • Home Price: $126,500 median purchase price, $758 median monthly rent price
  • Median Household Income: $56,303
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Cost of Living: 12% lower than the U.S. average

Wondering what makes Indiana an affordable place to live in 2022? The Hoosier State’s housing costs about 28% below the national average and has an overall lower cost of living, making Indiana one of the best states to buy a home in the new year! With many large companies located throughout the state, most of the biggest ones are in Indianapolis, including pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lily Company, health insurance company Anthem, and financial services company Guidant. Wind down and explore fun things to do in Indiana at attractions like Marengo Cave, Hoosier National Forest, Indiana Dunes National Park, and the famous Fort Wayne Museum of Art!

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: 3.9%
  • Cost of Living: 10% lower than the U.S. average

Don’t write Iowa off as a flyover state! Iowa boasts some of the lowest housing costs, and the state’s job market continues to grow thanks to top Iowa employers like Hy-Vee, Rockwell Collins, and Principal Financial Group. And with social security benefits exempt and other retirement incomes deductible, Iowa is a great place for retirees looking to relocate. Plus, you’ll have plenty of fun things to do in Iowa with popular attractions like the Iowa State Fair in the summer, Adventureland Resort, or The Covered Bridges of Madison County!

Kansas

Kansas State Capitol. Photo by Instagram user @tkdesignskc

Photo via @tkdesignskc

  • Population: 2,913,314
  • Home Price: $135,300 median purchase price, $775 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $59,597
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Cost of Living: 12% lower than the U.S. average

Have you ever considered living in the Midwest? Check out the state of Kansas, which ranks among the best states to buy a house! And for good reason—in addition to the state’s affordable real estate and cost of living, Kansas is known for having some of the lowest food costs in the U.S. as a top agricultural producer. Residents of the Heart of America can find plenty of jobs in Kansas with large employers like AMC Theatres, investment company Synergy Group, or shipping company YRC Freight, which are all headquartered in the Kansas City metro. Also, Kansas offers excellent entertainment and historical attractions like the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Kansas Speedway, Worlds of Fun, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Kentucky

  • Population: 4,467,673
  • Home Price: $126,100 median purchase price, $690 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $50,589
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
  • Cost of Living: 10% lower than the U.S. average

Planning on living in the Southern region of the U.S.? Consider moving to Kentucky. The Bluegrass State’s reasonable cost of living and low property tax (about half the national average) help keep Kentucky affordable—particularly in Louisville and Lexington, which have fantastic housing costs! While manufacturing is the primary industry in Kentucky, residents can find other job opportunities with large employers like Kindred Healthcare, food manufacturer Yum! Brands, and healthcare provider Humana. While living in Kentucky, be sure to spend time outside at Mammoth Cave or Cumberland Falls, try different kinds of bourbon when exploring the Urban Bourbon Trail, and visit Kentucky’s historic sites like the Muhammad Ali Center.

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: 6.1%
  • Cost of living: 10% lower than the U.S. average

With nearly 10 million residents, Michigan‘s cost of living ranks well below the national average. In fact, living in Washington, DC, Brooklyn, and Seattle is about 40% more expensive than living in Michigan’s biggest city, Detroit! Known as the automotive hub of the U.S., the Great Lakes state is the headquarters of Ford Motor Company, which is the state’s largest employer. Residents can also find jobs in Michigan with other employers like Whirlpool, medical technology company Stryker Corp., and The Dow Chemical Company. Fall in love with Michigan’s great recreation spots, including the Great Lakes, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Silver Lake Sand Dunes, and Belle Isle Park!

Missouri

Missouri State Capitol. Photo by Instagram user @carrietergin

Photo via @carrietergin

  • Population: 6,137,428
  • Home Price: $141,200 median purchase price, $759 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $55,461
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
  • Cost of Living: 10% lower than the U.S. average

Often called the Show Me State, Missouri is another affordable place to live due to its reasonable living costs and housing prices well below the national average! You’ll also find many students enrolled in the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which offers Midwestern students in-state tuition and helps alleviate the cost of living in Missouri for young professionals. Missouri’s biggest industries include agriculture, aerospace, and manufacturing, but residents can also find jobs in Missouri with large companies like healthcare company Ascension, Enterprise Holdings, and Anheuser-Busch. While in Missouri, stay busy with fun attractions like Silver Dollar City, Gateway Arch National Park, and the Missouri Botanical Garden!

Oklahoma

  • Population: 3,956,971
  • Home Price: $121,300 median purchase price; $742 median monthly rent
  • Median Household Income: $52,919
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
  • Cost of Living: 14% lower than the U.S. average

Want to move to a state with one of the lowest costs of living? With statewide-average costs of living falling well below the national average, Oklahoma offers affordable living in 2022! In fact, Oklahoma constantly ranks as one of the states with the most affordable housing costs. Management, healthcare, and engineering are among Oklahoma’s industries, with top employers including companies like Helmerich & Payne, Saint Francis Health System, and The University of Oklahoma. In addition, the Sooner State offers Oklahoma residents major attractions in Oklahoma City and Tulsa like the Oklahoma City Zoo, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area.

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: 4.2%
  • Cost of Living: 12% lower than the U.S. average

Looking for a state with festive live music, amazing barbecue, and great affordability? Consider moving to Tennessee! The Volunteer State doesn’t tax earned income, which helps fund an already affordable cost of living in Tennessee. While education and entertainment make up the top industries in Tennessee, residents can also find careers from top employers like FedEx, HCA Healthcare, and Dollar General. Also, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, fishing, and whitewater rafting, you’ll have a blast at nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest. Or visit other top attractions in Tennessee like Dollywood, Graceland, or Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

Frequently Asked Questions About Most Affordable States

What’s the most affordable U.S. state to live in?

There are many states in the U.S. where you can experience affordable living! States like Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri offer affordable housing costs and good median household incomes.

What state has the lowest cost of living?

The state with the lowest cost of living is Mississippi, though states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee are also among states with the lowest living costs.

Where are the best states to live in 2022?

Some of the best states to live in include Alabama, Iowa, and Michigan. These states all have a cost of living below the national average and offer affordable real estate and low unemployment rates!

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Moving to a new state in 2022? Extra Space Storage has convenient, secure 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.

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