Inflation is on the rise at a historic pace in the United States. The consumer price index surged 7.5% on an annual basis in January 2022, the highest increase in about 40 years. While wages have also climbed, they have not increased enough to offset rising prices for the typical American worker.
Inflation is being driven in large part by supply chain disruptions, which are limiting production capacity and the availability of certain goods and ultimately leading to higher prices. Pent-up consumer demand in the wake of COVID-19 shutdowns across the globe is exacerbating the problem. Recently, consumers have been feeling the pinch, particularly through higher food, housing, and energy prices.
While consumers across the country are paying more for goods and services now than they were a year ago, exactly how much they are paying depends largely on where they live, as some states have a far higher cost of living than others.
In Maine, the cost of living is 15.0% higher than it is on average nationwide, according to the Composite Cost of Living Index published by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Overall, the cost of living in Maine ranks as the 12th highest among states. It is important to note that this index reflects the annual average cost of living in 2021 and does not account for recent price increases due to inflation.
Of the five specific consumer categories factored into the index – groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care – housing ranks as the most expensive in Maine relative to national prices, costing about 36.6% more than average. Meanwhile, groceries are the least expensive consumer category relative to national averages, with prices about 2.2% higher than they are nationwide.
|Rank||State||Cost of living||Most expensive category||Least expensive category||Median household income ($)|
|1||Hawaii||93.3% more than avg.||Housing||Health care||83,102|
|2||New York||48.2% more than avg.||Housing||Utilities||72,108|
|3||California||42.2% more than avg.||Housing||Health care||80,440|
|4||Massachusetts||35% more than avg.||Housing||Utilities||85,843|
|5||Oregon||30.1% more than avg.||Housing||Utilities||67,058|
|6||Alaska||27.1% more than avg.||Utilities||Transportation||75,463|
|7||Maryland||24% more than avg.||Housing||Health care||86,738|
|8||Connecticut||21.6% more than avg.||Housing||Groceries||78,833|
|9||Rhode Island||17.2% more than avg.||Utilities||Health care||71,169|
|10||Vermont||17% more than avg.||Housing||Health care||63,001|
|11||New Jersey||15.2% more than avg.||Housing||Health care||85,751|
|12||Maine||15% more than avg.||Housing||Groceries||58,924|
|13||Washington||11.6% more than avg.||Health care||Utilities||78,687|
|14||New Hampshire||9.9% more than avg.||Health care||Transportation||77,933|
|15||Delaware||7.9% more than avg.||Groceries||Utilities||70,176|
|16||Nevada||6.3% more than avg.||Transportation||Utilities||63,276|
|17||Colorado||5.3% more than avg.||Housing||Utilities||77,127|
|18||Arizona||3.2% more than avg.||Housing||Health care||62,055|
|19||Pennsylvania||2.5% more than avg.||Utilities||Health care||63,463|
|20||Idaho||2.1% more than avg.||Transportation||Utilities||60,999|
|21||Virginia||1.8% more than avg.||Housing||Transportation||76,456|
|22||South Dakota||1% more than avg.||Housing||Transportation||59,533|
|23||Montana||0.7% more than avg.||Housing||Utilities||57,153|
|24||Florida||0.3% more than avg.||Groceries||Health care||59,227|
|25||Minnesota||About avg.||Health care||Housing||74,593|
|26||Utah||1% less than avg.||Transportation||Utilities||75,780|
|27||North Dakota||1.8% less than avg.||Health care||Utilities||64,577|
|28||Wisconsin||3.6% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||64,168|
|29||North Carolina||4.3% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||57,341|
|30||Wyoming||5.7% less than avg.||Groceries||Housing||65,003|
|31||Illinois||5.7% less than avg.||Transportation||Housing||69,187|
|32||Nebraska||6.3% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||63,229|
|33||South Carolina||6.4% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||56,227|
|34||Kentucky||6.9% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||52,295|
|35||Louisiana||7% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||51,073|
|36||Texas||7.9% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||64,034|
|37||Michigan||8.7% less than avg.||Transportation||Housing||59,584|
|38||Ohio||8.7% less than avg.||Groceries||Housing||58,642|
|39||New Mexico||9% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||51,945|
|40||Arkansas||9.1% less than avg.||Groceries||Housing||48,952|
|41||Indiana||9.4% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||57,603|
|42||West Virginia||9.5% less than avg.||Groceries||Housing||48,850|
|43||Iowa||10.1% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||61,691|
|44||Missouri||10.2% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||57,409|
|45||Tennessee||11% less than avg.||Groceries||Housing||56,071|
|46||Georgia||11.2% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||61,980|
|47||Oklahoma||12.1% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||54,449|
|48||Alabama||12.1% less than avg.||Utilities||Housing||51,734|
|49||Kansas||13.5% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||62,087|
|50||Mississippi||16.7% less than avg.||Health care||Housing||45,792|
Sponsored: Tips for Investing
A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.