Living in North Dakota is less expensive than it is on average across the U.S. as a whole. According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, goods and services in the state cost 9.4% less than they do on average nationwide. Compared with all other states, North Dakota has the 16th lowest overall cost of living.
In general, living in dense, urban metro areas is more expensive than living in more rural areas. North Dakota is home to three metropolitan areas. The most expensive in the state is the Bismarck metro area, where the cost of goods and services is 7.2% lower than the national average and 2.2% higher than the statewide average.
North Dakota Housing Costs
Housing is one of the largest components of cost of living. In North Dakota, the typical home is worth $185,000, $19,900 less than the national median home value of $204,900. Across the state, the median price of a home built in 1939 or earlier is $116,400, while the median value of a home built in 2014 or later is $340,000.
The typical renter in North Dakota spends $806 a month on housing, $217 less than the $1,023 national median monthly rent. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the state is $663, while the typical rent for a unit with five or more bedrooms is $1,054.
Across the state, 37.3% of occupied homes are rented, more than the 36.2% national average and the ninth highest renter rate of any state.
North Dakota Transportation Costs
Transportation can also be a significant component of cost of living. In North Dakota, 90.2% of commuters drive to work, compared to 85.5% of commuters nationwide. On average, the typical motorist in the state drives 12,867 miles a year. Taking into account average fuel economy and the average cost of gas -- regular fuel cost an average of $2.10 a gallon in North Dakota in mid-2020 -- the average motorist in the state can expect to spend $1,119 on gas alone in one year.
Other transportation costs, like car insurance premiums, can vary by state. In North Dakota, the average car insurance premium is $1,337, less than the $1,517 national average, according to data from Insure.com. And according to data from the EPI, the average single adult in the state spends $10,681 a year on transportation.
North Dakota Health Care Costs
Out-of-pocket costs and insurance premiums for health care -- assuming at least a basic level of health insurance coverage -- are in line with the national average in North Dakota. Average health care costs for a single adult in the state total $4,029 per year, compared to the national average of $4,266. For a family of four, average annual health care costs total $12,168 -- $782 less than the comparable national average of $12,950.
North Dakota Food Costs
Food is another every day expense that has a significant impact on the overall cost of living in an area. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that the cost of food varies from state to state.
In North Dakota, a single adult spends an average of $3,231 on food annually, and a family of four spends $9,329 on average. For context, the nationwide average annual food expenditure is $3,240 for a single adult and $9,354 for a family of four. These estimates are calculated for a nutritionally adequate diet of food purchased at a grocery store for at home preparation.
North Dakota Child Care Costs
For families, child care adds thousands of dollars to overall annual spending. The average annual cost of child care for a 4 year old child in North Dakota is $7,506, well below the national average of $8,903. However, it costs an average of $19,130 to care for a 4 year old child and an 8 year old child per year in North Dakota compared to the national average of $15,853.
North Dakota Taxes
Few expenses vary as much from state to state as taxes. Accounting for state and federal income taxes, as well as Social Security contributions and Medicare payroll, the average adult working in North Dakota pays $5,191 annually in taxes -- below the national average of $6,542.
Excluding federal taxes and incorporating state and local taxes such as property and sales taxes -- the state and local tax burden in North Dakota is greater than the average across the U.S. as a whole. Per capita state tax collections in North Dakota come out to $5,533 per year, compared to the $3,151 average across all states.
Cost of Living by County or County Equivalent
Just as cost of living varies from state to state, it also varies from place to place within states. In North Dakota, Morton County, home to the city of Mandan, has the highest overall cost of living for a family of four at $96,859 per year, well above the statewide average of $82,745 per year.
Meanwhile, Ramsey County is the least expensive place in North Dakota. The average annual cost of living for a family of four in the area is just $69,384, $13,362 less than it is across the state as a whole. Devils Lake is the most populous community in Ramsey County.
Note that monetary figures are rounded to the nearest dollar and calculated differences may not always add up perfectly to the nearest dollar.
Read More About Cost of Living
24/7 Wall St. has published detailed cost of living analysis for all 50 states and nearly 30,000 cities across the country. Search for a city or state to view here:See a list of all available cities in North Dakota by clicking here.
Read More About North DakotaClick here to see detailed analysis about crime in North Dakota.
Click here to see updated data about coronavirus in North Dakota.