The State with the Lowest Cost of Living (and Why to Move There)

If your goal is to live a comfortable and enjoyable life while spending the least possible money, you should choose your location accordingly.

You are lucky, if you are not bound to a particular city, state or region because of your job. You can now move to a state that has the lowest cost of living yet offers a high quality of life. The following data presented by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, shows that Mississippi has the lowest cost of living among the US states, for the third quarter of 2015.

So, I decided to explore the current profile and future prospect of the state to determine whether it is really worth moving to the state.

Historical Background

Mississippi is located in the extreme south of United States and since 1817, it has been a state. Though with the devastating effects of the Civil War, occasional natural disasters or economic recessions, the state has experienced many problems. But the state is building a strong reputation as a great place to live. The state is attracting large number of both skilled and non-skilled works and retirees.

Economic Profile

Mississippi is known for its agriculture based rural economy. The Council for Community and Economic Research  shows that Mississippi is the cheapest state to live and second cheapest state to do business.

Cost of Living Index: 83.4

Housing Index: 68.9

Grocery Index: 93.3

Utilities Index: 82.8

Health Index: 89.5

Transportation Index: 84.9

Misc: 90.5

In terms of home price, Mississippi is the cheapest state by far. Median monthly rent in the state is $875. If you would like to buy a home, you can definitely take advantage of the 10% property tax rates. The median home price in the state is only $112,000.

Now coming to taxes, it can be said the Magnolia state is perfect for retired persons. Tax rates are generally low in Mississippi, more so on retirees’ income and property. The state imposes a progressive income tax rate of 3,4 and 5% . There is no real estate tax, gift tax and intangible personal property tax. Sales tax rate for the majority of products is 7%. You can find more information on tax rates and their exemption on the website of the Department of Revenue, State of Mississippi.

According to the US Census, 2015, the current unemployment rate in the state is 6.0%. Its labor force consists of 1.4 million people. Most people in Mississippi are employed in the manufacturing sector. Nissan North America Inc. is the major corporate employer in the state. Median family income is the state is currently $36,919.

But beyond the raw numbers, here’s what else to consider before moving to Mississippi…

Job Market

Job opportunities in Mississippi are growing. The unemployment rate has fallen considerably in recent years. New jobs are created in sectors like construction and manufacturing, hospitality, trade and transportation. Mississippi’s pay scale is comparatively high, even higher than some states with higher taxes and cost of living. Not only will you find a low cost of living but also great value for your dollar.


Across the state, weather is warm and humid most of the year. Winter is the most enjoyable time in the state. Summer is quite hot. Summer days also bring the occasional tornado and hurricane. Early spring and autumn are the most pleasant times to be in the state. With this said, you could always consider becoming a snow bird. That is, someone who lives up north in the summer and down south in the winter – usually retired people. Then you could enjoy being a tax resident in Mississippi but not have to deal with the hot and fairly dangerous summer months. Just make sure you spend more days in Mississippi than elsewhere so you can still claim residency legally.


Opportunity for higher education is widespread in the state. According to Mississippi Development Authority, more than 81% of the young population has high school degree or greater. Universities like Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, and University of Jackson offer higher degrees at a relatively lower price. Besides, the state offers various college savings plans and associated tax relieves to encourage parents to arrange money for their kid’s college education in advance. In every county, there are quite a number of public schools along with educational centers for those with learning disabilities. Since much of the educational system in the United States is standardized on a federal level, people needn’t worry about receiving a poor education in the south. Things have progressed a lot in the past 100 years.



The Mighty Mississippi! Enough said.

But if you want more, Mississippi also has Vicksburg National Military Park, U.S.S. Cairo Museum, Tupelo Automobile Museum, Rosalie Mansion, Stanton Hall, Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum, St. Mary Basilica, The Delta Blues Museum, Ship Island, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and more.

So What Do You Think About Moving to Mississippi?

This is a state that is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a place with a decent climate and a very low cost of living. Imagine how much money you would save especially if you moved from a state like New York or California. You could be looking at retiring years  – or even decades – earlier just for packing up and enjoying a reasonably priced lifestyle in the great state of Mississippi.

Or maybe this state isn’t for you. That’s okay. There are lots of other affordable states you can consider. For instance, if you earn a lot of money, consider moving to Alaska, Wyoming, Texas, South Dakota, Florida, Washington or Nevada as these states have ZERO state income tax. Something to consider…

Join our newsletter

If you like Critical Financial, subscribe and get our latest content via email.

Powered by ConvertKit

Share this post:

Recent Posts

One Comment

  1. Mike says:

    The south isn’t for everyone. Its very socially conservative so progressive liberals may not like it.

Leave a Comment


May the 4th Be with You: Star Wars Swag on Amazon

May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Day Swag

It began as the punniest holiday ever but quickly grew into an earnest (if somewhat random) celebration of the long-running (and still... more →
People count the money to buy a house in future success.

Avoiding Mortgage Scams: Don’t Fall for Unreasonable Promises

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s sound advice for almost all aspects of life, including the search for... more →
Eat for free for a whole month via the meal kit companies discounts for new customers.

How To Get a Month of Free Food: 9 Meal Kit Companies Offering Discounts to New Customers

Play your cards right and you might be able to line up a month’s worth of free meals if you were to try out all nine of the meal... more →
Generate extra cashflow -- here are 97 ways.

96 Awesome Ways to Generate Extra Cashflow

Who doesn’t want more money nowadays? We’ve got you covered on that front. Here comes a long list of different ideas on... more →
Valentine's Day gifts that won't destroy your budget

Valentine’s Day Crafts Are Romantic Rescue from Crazy Inflation

Fall for the hype this week and you’re out an average of $143.56 for Valentine’s Day. Crafts and other do-it-yourself tactics... more →

Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin — FREE Ebook!

Have we got something for you: a free ebook about bitcoin! more →
Get a flu vaccine.

Why You Need To Get a Flu Vaccine Right Now

Flu vaccines aren’t just for the elderly  anymore. Here are 25 reasons you should go get vaccinated. more →
Financially successful

Acquire the Trait All Financially Successful People Have

Financially successful people tend to all have a lot of self-discipline. Improving your discipline in one area of your life often spills... more →

What’s the Best Free Recipe App?

The Apple Store and Google Play together offer more digital cookbooks than you probably have room for on your mobile device. So which... more →
New tax law might slow down housing market.

What Will the New Tax Law Do to the Housing Market?

The new tax law will have a profound impact on the housing market, although in ways that go beyond the deductibility of mortgage interest... more →

4 in 5 Households Will Get a Tax Cut in 2018

Four out of five U.S. households will get a tax cut as a result of the legislation that President Donald Trump signed into law today. more →
Will bitcoin reach $100,000?

When Will Bitcoin Reach $100,000?

Bitcoin has accelerated its pace of appreciation in recent months, and if the current levels between $15,000 and $19,000 make you itch... more →
The Dow Jones topped 24,000 -- now what?

The Dow Jones Crossed the 24,000 Threshold. Now What?

Stocks appear to be increasing in volatility, yet the markets closed on Monday, December 4 with the Dow Jones Industrial Average is... more →
Peer mortgage

Should You Get a Peer-to-Peer Mortgage?

If you can’t get approved for a home loan from a bank, you might want to look into applying for a peer-to-peer mortgage. more →
Investment gifting is awesome.

4 Things To Know Before You Donate an Investment

While donations of any kind are appreciated, gifting investments benefits both the giver and the receiver. Here are four key things... more →
Are you wondering: What's the Relationship Between the Stock Market and Federal Debt?

What’s the Relationship Between the Stock Market and Federal Debt?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if gains in the stock market could actually reduce U.S. government indebtedness? If that were true,... more →
Raising The Minimum Wage, effects to the business

Raising The Minimum Wage | Critical Effects On Businesses

In case you missed the State of The Union Address on Tuesday, like I intentionally did, you may have missed the mention of raising... more →