Which State Is Most Affordable? Here's How Much $100 Is Really Worth Across the U.S.

ByJames Dennin

Wondering which U.S. states are most and least expensive?

Perhaps you're looking for a cheap last-minute domestic summer vacation destination — or you're sick of your tiny apartment and feel ready to up and move to a place with affordable, spacious homes. Maybe you're just curious.

We've got answers.

Earlier this summer, the Department of Commerce released its figures on price disparities between different states. The Tax Foundation has now used those numbers to calculate exactly how much $100 is really worth — in terms of buying power  — depending on where you are across the nation. You can check out their map in the embedded tweet below, or see a larger view here.

The redder the map, the lower the cost of living, and therefore the further your $100 stretches.

In the cheapest state, Mississippi, $100 will get you approximately $115 worth of stuff. 

Disparities between the priciest and most inexpensive places are big enough to have a serious effect on residents' quality of life.

For example, you'd need to earn $68,000 a year after taxes in the most expensive place — Washington, D.C. — in order to be able to afford the same quality of life as someone in Mississippi earning $50,000 after taxes, as Alan Cole of the Tax Foundation points out.

After Washington, the next-most expensive place was Hawaii, followed by New York, New Jersey and California.

The cheapest states after Mississippi were Arkansas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky.

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