The most expensive state to live in is not California or New York, according to data. See the top 10

The most expensive state to live in is not California or New York, according to data. See the top 10
The most expensive state to live in is not California or New York, according to data. See the top 10

You might think that living in California or New York would cost you an arm and a leg, but according to the latest data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, they are not the most expensive states in the US. In fact, they don’t even make it to the top five. So, which state takes the crown for the highest cost of living? And which other states are in the top 10? Let’s find out.

What is the cost of living index?

The cost of living index (COLI) is a measure of how much money you need to maintain a certain standard of living in different places. It takes into account the prices of various goods and services, such as housing, food, transportation, health care, and taxes. The US average is 100, and each state’s index is a percentage of the US average. For example, a state with an index of 120 means that it is 20% more expensive than the national average.

The COLI is calculated based on the data collected from over 300 urban areas across the US. The data is updated quarterly and reflects the changes in prices and consumer preferences.

The most expensive state to live in is…

Hawaii. Yes, the Aloha State is also the most expensive state to live in, with a whopping COLI of 196.3. That means that living in Hawaii costs almost twice as much as living in the average US state. The main reason for Hawaii’s high cost of living is its isolation and dependence on imported goods. Everything from food to fuel to electricity is more expensive in Hawaii than in the mainland. Housing is also a major factor, as the limited supply and high demand drive up the prices of rent and mortgages.

The top 10 most expensive states to live in

According to the COLI data for the second quarter of 2020, these are the top 10 most expensive states to live in, along with their indices and rankings for each category: State COLI Rank Grocery Housing Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc. Hawaii 196.3 1 160.2 336.3 173.8 125.8 118.1 125.9 Massachusetts 139.8 2 113.9 227.3 114.9 106.1 117.1 112.8 California 138.4 3 107.4 227.1 102.9 111.8 107.9 113.7 New York 132.9 4 114.8 204.6 101.2 112.6 105.7 111.6 Alaska 127.8 5 135.2 133.3 154.2 107.3 138.1 108.1 Maryland 127.1 6 108.5 184.5 106.2 106.1 92.4 98.1 Oregon 125.4 7 110.3 181.8 85.8 113.5 107.3 99.2 Washington 123.1 8 100.5 170.1 79.2 113.3 109.1 103.1 New Hampshire 120.5 9 100.4 156.7 115.6 99.1 103.4 100.9 Vermont 118.1 10 104.1 151.5 114.1 97.5 101.1 100.4

As you can see, the cost of living varies significantly across different categories and states. For example, Hawaii has the highest cost of housing, but Alaska has the highest cost of utilities. New York has the highest cost of groceries, but Vermont has the highest cost of health care. Some states, such as Massachusetts and California, are consistently high across all categories, while others, such as Oregon and Washington, are more affordable in some areas than others.

How to save money on living expenses

If you live in one of these expensive states, or are planning to move to one, you might be wondering how to save money on your living expenses. Here are some tips that might help:

  • Compare the prices of different areas within the state. Some cities and towns might be cheaper than others, depending on the local economy, population, and amenities. You can use online tools, such as Best Places, to compare the cost of living of different locations.
  • Shop around for the best deals on housing, utilities, transportation, and other services. You can use online platforms, such as Zillow, Trulia, GasBuddy, and Power to Choose, to find the best prices and options for your needs.
  • Take advantage of discounts, coupons, and rewards programs. You can save money on groceries, dining, entertainment, and more by using apps, such as Ibotta, Groupon, and Rakuten, to find deals and earn cash back on your purchases.
  • Reduce your energy consumption and waste. You can lower your utility bills and environmental impact by using energy-efficient appliances, switching to renewable energy sources, and recycling and composting your waste. You can also save water by installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets, and by fixing any leaks in your pipes.
  • Use public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking whenever possible. You can save money on gas, parking, maintenance, and insurance by reducing your car usage and opting for more eco-friendly modes of transportation. You can also improve your health and fitness by getting more physical activity.


Living in an expensive state can be challenging, but not impossible. By knowing the cost of living in different states and categories, and by following some simple tips to save money, you can enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle without breaking the bank.

(1) The most expensive state to live in is not California or New York ….
(2) Most Expensive States to Live in 2024 – World Population Review.
(3) What is the most expensive state to live in the United States?.
(4) Why California Is The Most Expensive State In The Country.
(5) Which U.S. state is the most expensive to live in? – NCESC.

Leave a Comment