Why People Don't Relocate for a Lower Cost of Living

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A survey done earlier this year by Forbes Insider found – drum roll – that people who live in states with a lower cost of living are able to save more than those who live in more expensive places. Make that an eye roll rather than a drum roll. While I love research that expands my knowledge base and gives me new ideas, I am annoyed by research that tells me something obvious.

To identify states where it is most difficult to save, Forbes Advisor compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 metrics spanning four key categories: income and debt, cost of living, taxes, and housing.

Hawaii tops the list as the state where it’s most difficult to save and where the cost of living is highest. Rounding out the top five are California, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.

At the opposite extreme are the states where residents find it the easiest to save money thanks to the low cost of living. North Dakota ranks first, followed by South Dakota, West Virginia, Missouri, and Ohio. In general, the Northeast dominates the 10 states where saving is hardest while Midwestern states rank heavily in the 10 where saving is easiest.