20 Most Expensive States to Live In

Discover the most expensive states to live in across the U.S. From soaring housing costs to high taxes and living expenses, we’ve delved into the costs that residents are facing across the country. Whether you’re planning a move or just curious, get ready for an eye-opening journey into these 20 expensive states.


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In data analyzed by Forbes,​​ Hawai’i was ranked as “the most expensive state in terms of cost of living.” On top of this, residents of the state “have the lowest amount of disposable income available annually.” This is driven by high real estate costs as well as importation costs for groceries, goods, utilities, and other services.

New York

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The high cost of living in New York City significantly skews the state’s overall cost of living; however, high state and local taxes, including sales and income tax, do mean New York is an expensive state for residents. There is also a very high demand for housing and a limited supply, which is driving up housing and rental market prices.


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According to Unbiased, Massachusetts has one of the highest costs of living in the country, and they refer to a study that found “the state ranks 49th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living.”


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Being in such a remote location means residents of Alaska foot the bill when it comes to the transportation and logistics of groceries and other goods. There are also high heating and overall energy costs, and some housing areas have high costs due to their remote location and harsh climate.

New Jersey

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New Jersey residents face some of the highest property tax rates in the U.S., as well as high costs of buying and renting homes, especially in those areas that benefit from being close to New York City. This state also has high transportation and commuting costs.


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Real estate costs and taxes in Connecticut are high, especially in areas within commutable distance from New York City. Residents also face high utility costs and a progressive income tax structure, which can result in high costs for some.


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While Maryland residents have a higher than average income, they also face high personal income taxes, as well as elevated costs for healthcare, education, and transportation. The state also has high prices for buying and renting homes, particularly in those areas close to Washington, D.C.


Portland, Oregon
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Rising home prices and rents in the state’s urban areas are contributing to Oregon’s high cost of living, and Ramsey Solutions says, “The cost of living in Oregon is 16% higher than the national average.” Although the state benefits from no sales tax, there are high income taxes as well as higher than average utility costs, including electricity and natural gas.


Washington, D.C.
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Washington benefits from no state income tax; however, this is attracting higher earners, which is in turn driving up the cost of living. Residents are facing high costs for transportation and utilities, and particularly high real estate prices in the Seattle metropolitan area.

Rhode Island

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Urban and coastal areas of this beautiful New England state come with a high price tag for buyers and renters, and residents also face elevated costs for utilities, healthcare, and education. There are also high property and state income taxes.


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Rapid growth in the population of this stunning state has seen a huge demand for housing, and prices are being driven up, especially in Denver and Colorado Springs. Transportation and commuting costs are high, and although the state offers a fantastic outdoor lifestyle, this can be expensive for residents.


Montpelier, Vermont
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According to CNBC, Vermont’s house prices jumped by 20% in 2021, and “demand far outstripped supply, as people who used to just visit Vermont decided to stay.” There are also high costs associated with rural living, including heating and transportation.

New Hampshire

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Although residents of New Hampshire benefit from no state income or sales taxes, this is made up for by high property taxes. There is also a rise in the cost of housing, especially in areas close to Boston. Finally, there are high costs for services, including utilities, healthcare, and education.


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Rural and coastal areas within this state have a higher cost of living due to a lack of transportation and infrastructure available to residents. There are also high costs associated with heating homes and businesses due to the cold climate and reliance on heating oil.


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This state faces high housing and rental costs for those wanting to live in urban areas, as well as high commuting and transportation costs. The Northern Virginia region also has a higher cost of living due to its proximity to Washington, D.C.


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According to CBS News, a study found that “between 1984 to 2021, the state’s GDP, which measures the cost of goods and services, grew a whopping 173%—but in that same time period, household earnings only grew 4%.” They go on to say that a lot of working families living in California are finding the cost of living too high.


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Residents of Minnesota face high state income and sales taxes, and on top of this, housing costs are rising, particularly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The nature of the region also means heating costs are high during the long, cold winters.


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This state has a varied housing market, with urban areas facing high prices for buyers and renters, particularly in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Residents also face high property taxes as well as a high state income tax.


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Delaware is seeing a rise in housing costs, particularly in areas close to major cities and the coast. Residents also have higher than average costs for utilities, and visiting shoppers from neighboring states are impacting the local cost of living within urban areas.


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Residents of Pennsylvania face a high level of state income tax, as well as high property taxes in certain areas. On top of this, the state has high costs associated with its education and healthcare services. Residents living in major cities, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, also have a high cost of living.

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