The median home price in Alabama is $170,184—the second cheapest behind Mississippi—and the cost-of-living index score here is 87.9, which is third in the US. Housing costs are also 29.9% below the national average. While costs for healthcare and transportation are among the lowest in the US, Alabama remains among the states with the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line. It should be noted, however, that the unemployment rate in Alabama remains relatively low, at 2.9%.
The cheapest state in multiple categories—including food, housing, and healthcare—Oklahoma’s cost-of-living index is 87.9. The median cost for a home here is $151,469 and housing costs are 25.3% below the US average. As mentioned, grocery and healthcare costs are 5.5% lower than the national average. At 15.1%, however, Oklahoma also has one of the highest poverty rates in the US.
With a cost-of-living index score of 86.5, Kansas is the second-least expensive state to live in in the US. With housing costs 27.4% below the national average, the median cost of a single-family home in Kansas is roughly $177,000—the third-cheapest housing cost in the country. Another bonus about Kansas is that it also has the one of the lowest unemployment rates in the US, which bodes well for the state’s economy.
Georgia’s cost-of-living index score is 88.8 and the median cost for a single-family home is $246,272. The housing costs in the Peach State are 25.6% below the national average and the utility costs are 9.5% below the national average. Access to major Southern hub Atlanta also increases Georgia’s value.
The median price for a single-family home in Tennessee is $230,253 and housing costs run 20.7% below the national average. Meanwhile, at 89.0, the cost-of-living index score in this southern state is the sixth cheapest nationwide. While the poverty rate is relatively high at 13.8%, the unemployment rate is lower than the national average at 3.4%. Tennessee’s unique draw is there is no state income tax on earned wages. Another aspect of Tennessee that increases the state’s value is its rich musical history for blues, country, jazz, and rock.