The 10 Least Expensive States to Live in the U.S.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

How important is your location to you? When searching for a place to live, generally each person (or family) has something at the very top of their priorities list, which is the single most important factor for them in choosing a home. For many people, this factor is location.

Golan’s Moving and Storage reports that around 43 million Americans move each year — around 60% of people move for work, military, or government, and another 40% move for personal reasons. For those who have the option to choose their location — they’re unattached, they’re retired, or maybe they work from home — living costs may play a large role in where they decide to relocate.

It’s pretty amazing to see how a two-bedroom, two-bathroom 1,500 square foot house on a quiet street can cost $100,000 in one city, and then the exact same house (same size, specs, and amenities) in another city and state may cost upwards of $500,000. In the past on Zillow, there’s been a listing for a three-bedroom, two and a half-bathroom, 1,500 square foot home in Johnson City, Tennessee. This home is priced at $126,000. A townhouse with similar specifications in San Diego is priced at $499,000.

The difference? Location, location, location.

If you’re looking for a low-cost place to live with cheaper housing, groceries, and utilities, reviewing the cheapest states is a good place to start. This list of the cheapest states uses data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and other resources. Each state is ranked by its cost of living index, as of the first quarter of 2014.