Special Report

States Where People Pay the Highest Bills

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The cost of living in the United States is well below the cost of living in several other developed countries, including the Nordic nations as well as New Zealand and Australia. Still, living expenses in the U.S. are higher than in much of the world. According to a recent study from Doxo, a bill paying platform, American households spend an average of $2,003 a month on bills – or about 37% of what the typical household earns in a month. (Here is a look at the least affordable rich countries.)

Of course, cost of living varies from state to state, and in some parts of the country, monthly bills are far higher than they are on average nationwide. 

Using data from the United States of Bill Pay, a report from Doxo, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the highest household bills in 2022. States are ranked by the average monthly expenditure per household on the 10 most common bills, such as housing, cable, and health insurance, among others.

Among the 50 states, total expenditures on bills like rent, auto insurance, and cell phones range from an average of less than $1,500 a month to nearly $3,000. The 10 most expensive states are split between the Western and Northeastern United States, while the 10 least expensive states are concentrated in the South. Here is a look at the most expensive cities to rent a home

States with higher than average bills also generally have median household incomes that exceed the $64,994 the typical American household makes, while incomes tend to be lower in the least expensive states. Still, higher incomes are more likely to offset higher costs of living, as households in states with the lowest average monthly bills are more likely to spend a higher than average share of their income on bills than households in the more expensive states. 

Click here to see the states with the highest bills
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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50. West Virginia
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,452 (27.5% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $48,037 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.3%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

49. Arkansas
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,552 (22.5% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $49,475 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.6%

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

48. Mississippi
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,559 (22.2% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $46,511 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 40.2%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

47. Indiana
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,607 (19.8% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $58,235 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 33.1%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

46. Kentucky
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,627 (18.8% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $52,238 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.4%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

45. Oklahoma
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,634 (18.4% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $53,840 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.4%

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

44. South Dakota
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,654 (17.4% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $59,896 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 33.1%

43. New Mexico
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,663 (17.0% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $51,243 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 38.9%

42. Alabama
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,688 (15.7% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $52,035 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 38.9%

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

41. Nebraska
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,696 (15.3% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $63,015 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 32.3%

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40. Missouri
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,706 (14.8% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $57,290 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.7%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

39. Ohio
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,717 (14.3% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $58,116 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.5%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

38. Kansas
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,720 (14.1% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $61,091 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 33.8%

37. Tennessee
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,734 (13.4% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $54,833 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.9%

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36. Montana
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,751 (12.6% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $56,539 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.2%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

35. Michigan
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,754 (12.4% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $59,234 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.5%

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34. Idaho
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,777 (11.3% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $58,915 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.2%

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

33. South Carolina
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,783 (11.0% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $54,864 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 39.0%

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32. Iowa
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,784 (10.9% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $61,836 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 34.6%

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31. North Carolina
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,829 (8.7% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $56,642 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 38.7%

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30. Pennsylvania
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,851 (7.6% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $63,627 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 34.9%

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29. Louisiana
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,871 (6.6% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $50,800 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 44.2%

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28. Georgia
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,875 (6.4% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $61,224 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.8%

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

27. Vermont
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,883 (6.0% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $63,477 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.6%

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26. Utah
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,910 (4.6% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $74,197 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 30.9%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

25. Wisconsin
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,915 (4.4% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $63,293 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.3%

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24. Maine
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,922 (4.0% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $59,489 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 38.8%

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23. Arizona
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,936 (3.3% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $61,529 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.8%

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22. North Dakota
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,937 (3.3% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $65,315 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.6%

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

21. Nevada
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,945 (2.9% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $62,043 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.6%

Source: Art Wager / iStock via Getty Images

20. Texas
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,956 (2.3% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $63,826 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.8%

Source: Davel5957 / E+ via Getty Images

19. Minnesota
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,967 (1.8% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $73,382 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 32.2%

Source: Art Wager / E+ via Getty Images

18. Florida
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $1,993 (0.5% lower than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $57,703 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 41.4%

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

17. Wyoming
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,022 (0.9% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $65,304 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.2%

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16. Illinois
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,029 (1.3% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $68,428 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.6%

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

15. Delaware
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,057 (2.7% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $69,110 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.7%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

14. Oregon
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,070 (3.3% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $65,667 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.8%

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13. Rhode Island
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,172 (8.4% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $70,305 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 37.1%

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

12. Virginia
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,229 (11.3% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $76,398 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.0%

Source: benedek / E+ via Getty Images

11. Colorado
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,251 (12.4% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $75,231 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.9%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

10. New Hampshire
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,256 (12.6% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $77,923 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 34.7%

Source: thyegn / iStock via Getty Images

9. Washington
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,277 (13.7% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $77,006 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.5%

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

8. Alaska
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,334 (16.5% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $77,790 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.0%

Source: FilippoBacci / E+ via Getty Images

7. New York
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,361 (17.9% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $71,117 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 39.8%

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

6. Connecticut
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,380 (18.8% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $79,855 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.8%

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

5. Maryland
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,456 (22.6% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $87,063 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 33.9%

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

4. Massachusetts
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,511 (25.4% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $84,385 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 35.7%

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

3. New Jersey
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,610 (30.3% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $85,245 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 36.7%

Source: Sierralara / iStock via Getty Images

2. California
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,649 (32.3% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $78,672 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 40.4%

Source: Art Wager / E+ via Getty Images

1. Hawaii
> Avg. monthly household bill payments: $2,911 (45.3% higher than nat’l. avg.)
> Median household income: $83,173 per year
> Household bills as a share of income: 42.0%

Methodology

To identify the states with the highest household bills, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report United States of Bill Pay from doxo insights, a bill paying platform. States are ranked by average household monthly bill payments. Average bill payments were calculated incorporating the most common household bills, including housing (mortgage and rent payments), auto loans, utilities, car insurance, cable, internet, mobile phone, health insurance, security alarms, and life insurance.

To calculate monthly expenditures as a percentage of income, we used five-year estimates of median household income by state from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

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