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9 US States So Expensive They Aren’t Worth Moving To

Moving to a new state is a significant decision, influenced by various factors including job opportunities, lifestyle, and most importantly, cost of living. While some states offer appealing amenities, their high living costs can outweigh the benefits. Here are nine states where the high expense might make you think twice before packing your bags.

1. California

California, known for its beautiful coastline, diverse culture, and tech industry, comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of housing in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles is astronomical, with the median home price well over $800,000. Additionally, the state has high taxes and a steep cost of living that extends to groceries, utilities, and healthcare.

2. New York

Living in New York, particularly New York City, is a dream for many but a financial challenge for most. The city’s housing market is one of the most expensive in the country, with average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan exceeding $3,000 a month. Add in the high cost of food, transportation, and entertainment, and it’s easy to see why living here can be prohibitively expensive.

3. Hawaii

Hawaii offers a tropical paradise, but the cost of living on the islands is extremely high. Importing goods contributes to inflated prices for groceries and other necessities. The median home price is around $750,000, and the state also has high taxes. The cost of utilities, especially electricity, is among the highest in the nation due to the reliance on imported fuel.

4. Massachusetts

Massachusetts, especially the Boston area, is known for its prestigious universities and vibrant culture. However, the cost of living is steep. The median home price in Boston is about $600,000, and the cost of healthcare and other services is higher than the national average. The state’s income tax rate also adds to the financial burden.

5. New Jersey

New Jersey offers proximity to New York City and beautiful shorelines, but it comes with one of the highest property tax rates in the country. The cost of housing, particularly in the suburbs of NYC, is very high. Additionally, the overall cost of living, including groceries and transportation, is significantly above the national average.

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6. Connecticut

Connecticut boasts charming small towns and affluent suburbs, but it is also one of the most expensive states. Housing costs are high, with a median home price around $330,000. Property taxes and the cost of living, including healthcare and education, are also higher than in many other states.

7. Maryland

Maryland, particularly areas near Washington, D.C., has a high cost of living. Housing prices are steep, with the median home price around $350,000. The state’s taxes, including income and property taxes, add to the cost. Moreover, the expenses for utilities, groceries, and transportation are above the national average.

8. Rhode Island

Rhode Island offers picturesque coastal living, but it comes at a price. The cost of housing is relatively high, with a median home price around $300,000. The state also has high property taxes and a significant cost of living that includes healthcare, utilities, and transportation expenses.

9. Alaska

Alaska provides stunning natural beauty and unique living experiences, but the cost of living is considerable. The remote location means higher prices for goods and services due to shipping costs. Housing prices are relatively high, with the median home price around $300,000. Utilities, especially heating, can be very expensive due to the harsh climate.


While these states offer attractive features and opportunities, their high cost of living can be a major deterrent. Before deciding to move, it’s crucial to consider not just the appeal of a new location, but also the financial realities that come with it. Balancing lifestyle desires with economic practicality will ensure you make the best decision for your future.