Careers and Finance

The states with the lowest cost of living

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The cost of living in each state tends to match its median household income. When people cannot afford expensive goods and services, prices have to be set to a market that is driven by low wages. It is no surprise, then, that the poorest state, Mississippi, also has the nation’s lowest cost of living.

To find the state with the lowest cost of living, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Composite Cost of Living Index for the third quarter of 2021, the most recent available, published by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. 

The MERIC study uses an index based on the relative costs of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care to rank states. Mississippi’s cost of living index was the lowest at 85.1, a figure driven largely by the very low cost of housing there - at 66.4, also the lowest in America.

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<p>Americans face a dilemma. The consumer price index rose 7% in December, and while wages have risen recently, they have not, for the most part, kept up with inflation. The median household income in the U.S. dropped 2.9% in 2020 to $67,521, in fact. Even as inflation increases the cost of living nationwide, the cost of living is not uniform between states. The state with the lowest cost of living is Mississippi. </p>(These are the <a href="https://247wallst.com/special-report/2022/01/12/best-places-to-live-on-a-budget-of-30k/?utm_source=tribune&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tribune&utm_content=best-places-to-live-on-a-budget-of-30k&wsrlui=810426231">best places to live on a budget of $30k</a>.)</p>

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