The 10 Most Expensive States Where Everyday Living is a Luxury

The cost of living is determined predominantly by factors including recession, wages, proximity to big states, job opportunities, housing, transportation, and overall state infrastructure. In the USA, each state has its tax policies, a unique workforce, and a blend of multiculturalism.

Discover the 10 most expensive states to live in the USA. We have collected this data from the Cost of Living Index (COLI).

Hawaii

Palm tree, blue sea, sky in Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Tropical beach with white sand and turquoise water. Summer vacation, recreation, relax. Paradise, peace, romance. Travel traveling wanderlust
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Famous for spectacular beaches and lush valleys, Hawaii is the most expensive state in the USA. The unusual remoteness of the island means that most goods and services are transported, raising the cost of overall living. Buying a house in Hawaii costs twice the national average and groceries cost more than 50% of the national average causing a significant increase in daily expenditure.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 179

District of Columbia

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District of Columbia, famously known as Washington, D.C., houses iconic museums, famous performing arts avenues, and all three branches of the federal government. Washington, D.C., has the highest housing cost in the country, high-income earners, a relatively high-income tax, and a high demand for resources and services. It leads to an overall increase in the prices of competition, goods, and services.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 148.70

Massachusetts

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Home to prestigious universities, Harvard and MIT, Massachusetts has a strong historical significance, houses world-renowned museums, and is the hub of many technology companies and startups. Expensive housing, high income and sales tax, and high quality of healthcare facilities all make it one of the most expensive states to live in the US. Education expenses and transportation cost doubles the living cost and provides no respite.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 148.40

California

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Home to ancient Redwood forests, Hollywood stars, Silicon Valley’s technology, and rich outdoor activities in the Golden State makes California a dream place to live in. Homeownership in California is second-lowest in the nation. Major metropolitan areas like LA and San Francisco have the highest rent in the country. Since California also has the highest gas prices, transportation costs have doubled up than the national average.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 134.50

New York

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One of the most popular and expensive cities to live in the world, New York is notorious for high-rise apartments, sky-high prices, and limited space availability. This combination leads to deadly rents and house prices. Famous for diversity, iconic buildings, statues, dining, entertainment, and an overall feel-good vibe, New York has high taxes, education, and healthcare costs.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 125.10

Alaska

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Alaska is popular for great outdoor experiences, wide-open spaces, and native culture. Alaska has the highest cost of healthcare in the entire country and the second most costly grocery store in the nation. Due to remote location, prices of goods and services are significantly higher than the national average. The additional cost of heating in a severe cold adds to the overall living expenditure.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 124.40

Maryland

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Defined by blue crabs, abundant waterways, coastlines, and historic trading ports, Maryland is a serene place to live in. It boasts the fifth-lowest poverty level in the nation, second-highest house affordability, and second-lowest healthcare cost in the country. Overall, Maryland offers an above-average median salary for a family of four, top-notch education, and a strong job market.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 119.50

Oregon

The deep blue Crater Lake and Wizard Island as seen from Watchman Peak Trail on the western rim opposite Mt. Scott in the Southern Oregon Cascades on a late summer day with clouds.
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Oregon boasts of snow-coated mountains on one hand and dramatic river canyons on the other. While utilities including electricity, heating, and water are the cheapest in the region, the housing cost is one of the highest in the country causing the lowest rates of home affordability. A two-bedroom apartment in Oregon costs $1214 per month. High commercial rents, labor costs, and strict regulatory conditions contribute to higher prices of goods and services such as dining, entertainment, groceries, etc.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 115.10

New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA town skyline on the Piscataqua River.
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An ultimate outdoor lovers’ destination, New Hampshire is known for its unparalleled natural beauty, rocky mountains, and rough seacoast region. The dual climate of harsh winters and hot summers increases utility prices of electricity, heating, and water significantly. The high cost of healthcare and education remains a major concern for most residents. Limited availability of housing and rising demand have increased the rent and house prices notably.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 115.00

Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, USA autumn town skyline.
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Known for its natural landscape, Vermont is famous for its scenic beauty, mountain terrain, skiing culture, rural charm, and abundance of other outdoor activities. Housing in Vermont is expensive. Proximity to amenities, scenic views of the house, and limited inventory all contribute to higher rental prices. Good quality round-the-clock healthcare remains a challenge. The state has a progressive income tax system wherein high earners are charged high-income taxes. The harsh weather changes double the prices of limited utility.

Cost of Living Index (COLI): 114.90

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