20 Most Expensive States to Live in 2024

It’s hard to ignore how expensive everything has gotten lately. 

The cost of living has increased considerably since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by Bloomberg, prices have surged over the last three-to-four years by nearly as much as they did in the decade prior to the pandemic. 

Goods that used to cost $100 now cost $120. This rapid price increase has put a financial strain on a majority of American consumers financially as many feel their salary has not kept pace with inflation. 

According to a survey conducted by the Bank of America Corporation in September 2023, 67 percent of Bank of America employees reported they felt inflation was rising quicker and higher than their salaries were, up from 58 percent in 2022, reiterating the stressful impact inflation has had for many Americans.

It seems now more than ever, where you live has a great impact on not just your health and well-being but your finances. 

So how expensive is it to live in the U.S. in 2024? Based on the cost of living index, which 20 states are the most expensive to live in?

The 20 Most Expensive States to Live – 2024 Edition

1. Hawaii

Cost of Living Index: 182.1

Hawaii is the most expensive US state to live in, with 82% higher cost of living than the national average in the United States. A key reason why the state has always been expensive is its location, which is 2000 miles southwest of the American mainland in the Pacific Ocean. Most of the basic items in the state are shipped from elsewhere. Moreover, the state has a staggering high housing index of 313.1. Utilities are 51% and transportation 35% more expensive in Hawaii than the national average.

2. Massachusetts

Cost of Living Index: 145.9

Massachusetts is one of the costliest states to live in the United States, with housing more than twice as expensive as the national average. For every $100 you pay in rent elsewhere in the country, it costs you $218.5 in Massachusetts. The cost of utilities is also 34% higher in the state.

3. California

Cost of Living Index: 139.1

California is the third most expensive US state to live in, with its cost of living being 38.5% higher than the national average. Housing in particular remains pricey, with an index of 198.8. According to a 2022 report in CNBC, the state has a housing shortage of around 3.5 million units, and the number continues to grow each year.

4. New York

Cost of Living Index: 126.4

Next on our list of the most expensive US states to live in is New York. According to a report, it costs a household of four an average of $6,137 to meet their expenses every month, exclusive of rent. Housing, transportation, utilities, and healthcare in the state are all considerably higher than the national average.

5. Alaska

Cost of Living Index: 119.1

The primary reason behind Alaska’s high cost of living is its scarce farmland, comprising less than one million acres, which has meant that much of the food in the state comes from other regions in the United States. Groceries are 23%, utilities 58%, and healthcare 48% more expensive in Alaska than America’s national average.

6. Maryland

Cost of Living Index: 117.8

The cost of housing is surging in Maryland, and in 2023 was 46.4% higher than the national average. Expenses related to groceries and utilities also remain on the higher side. It is one of the most expensive US states to live in.

7. Washington

Cost of Living Index: 117.3

While the cost of utilities continues to remain on the lower side, the cost of housing, grocery, transportation, and healthcare has been on a steady rise in Washington for some years now. As a result, its overall cost of index is 16% higher than the national average in the United States.

8. Vermont

Cost of Living Index: 117.1

Vermont is one of the most expensive US states to live in with a cost of living index of 117.1. The costliest of all is housing in the state, with an index of 133.1. The price of utilities is also 20% higher than the national average. However, the costs associated with transportation and healthcare tend to hover around the average.

9. Oregon

Cost of Living Index: 116.6

Next up is Oregon, where the average home price is over $660,000, according to The Observer. What makes the state so costly to live in is its housing, gasoline prices, and the state’s growing reputation as a major business hub – which has led to an influx of well-paid talented professionals from across the country, resulting in higher property prices and rentals.

10. New Hampshire

Cost of Living Index: 115.1

New Hampshire is one of the most expensive states in the United States to live in. A major cause of this is the surging prices of houses and rental rates, which stem from the state not having enough houses to meet demand. The state’s cost of living index was measured at 115.1 in 2023. Housing and transportation remained between 9-10% higher than the national average, while utilities were 31% higher.

11. New Jersey

Cost of Living Index: 114.2

New Jersey is the eleventh most expensive state in the US to live in, with a cost of living index of 114.2. Compared to the national average, housing is 35.8%, utilities 8.3%, and transportation 4.7% more expensive in the state.

12. Connecticut

Cost of Living Index: 112.1

Housing in Connecticut is around 23% higher than the national average, while the price of utilities is also over 30% more. It is one of the most expensive US states to live in.

13. Rhode Island

Cost of Living Index: 110.4

While transportation is relatively (7.5%) cheaper in Rhode Island than the national average, expenses related to housing, transportation, grocery, utilities, and healthcare are generally on the higher side. Therefore, the state has a 10.4% higher cost of living index than the United States on the whole and ranks among the costliest states in America to live in.

14. Maine

Cost of Living Index: 109.2

Grocery, housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are all between 5-20% more expensive in Maine than the national average in the United States. It is one of the costliest states in the US.

15. Arizona

Cost of Living Index: 107.9

Arizona is among the most expensive US states to live in, with the cost of living close to 8% higher than the national average. Housing in particular is quite costly in the state, having an index of 124.1. However, utilities and healthcare are much more affordable in the state, with indices of 95.3 and 93.8 respectively, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC).

16. Colorado

Cost of Living Index: 105.6

The cost of living in Colorado is nearly 6% higher than the national average in the United States. According to the Colorado Property Group, the cost of living per year in the state is approximately $53,374. One area of respite for the consumers is utilities, which are around 9% cheaper than the national average.

17. Utah

Cost of Living Index: 103.4

Next on our list of the most expensive US states to live in is Utah, where according to Expatistan, a family of four has an average monthly expense of $5,162. It is one of the costliest states in the country, with housing nearly 11% higher than the national average in the United States. Healthcare, however, is cheaper in the state; a medical bill of $100 anywhere else in the country would only cost $91 in Utah.

18. Montana

Cost of Living Index: 103.1

Montana is among the most expensive US states to live in. A transport ride that costs $100 elsewhere in the US would cost 9% higher in the state. Housing and grocery prices are also on the higher side in Montana. Utilities, however, are on the cheaper side in the state, costing 7.5% lower than the national average in the United States.

19. Virginia

Cost of Living Index: 102.9

The cost of living in Virginia is nearly 3% higher than the national average. However, this is offset by the state’s annual median household income of $87,249, which is approximately 17% higher than the national median household income per annum in the United States.

20. Delaware

Cost of Living Index: 102.1

We begin with Delaware, where the overall cost of living is slightly higher than the United States on a whole. Grocery, transportation, and healthcare is particularly expensive in the state, while housing and utilities are on the lower side compared to the national average.

Have you noticed prices rising where you live? Share your experiences and observations with us in the comments below!

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