Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

27 March 2011

The Cost of Living in the United States

The Composite Cost of Living results for the states across the United States for the 4th Quarter of 2010 are now available:

The cost of living is influenced by the cost of doing business, the cost of land, the cost of housing, and the cost of government, among many other factors.  Crowded areas or those in which the federal and state governments own too much of the land will tend to have high land costs.  Housing costs are a function of land costs, building codes which may be designed to force the hiring of local labor or to use expensive materials, zoning restrictions limiting home development, and building permit restrictions designed to slow growth.  The cost of doing business varies greatly due to differing government policies on taxes and regulations, as well as Workmen's Compensation costs.  Then government spending varies greatly and the more the government's spend, the higher the taxes.

Examining the map above, we find the Northeast and the Pacific Coast to be the highest cost of living areas.  The lowest cost of living states tend to be between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains minus the northern tier of states.  Illinois and Louisiana are also excluded.  The heroically inexpensive states with their composite cost of living indices are:

Kentucky, 89.2
Tennessee, 89.5
Oklahoma, 90.1
Arkansas, 90.6
Texas, 91.0
Nebraska, 91.1
Kansas, 91.3
Missouri, 91.7
Georgia, 92.2
Mississippi, 92.3

The worst states are:

Hawaii, 165.6
DC, 139.9
California, 132.6
Alaska, 132.6
Connecticut, 130.2
New Jersey, 128.5
New York, 128.3
Maryland, 124.8
Rhode Island, 123.2
Vermont, 120.4

My state of Maryland is expensive, but then what do you expect of a Democrat state.  On the other hand, I have family members living in Oklahoma and Kansas and they really do live much better on much less there than one can in Maryland.  If you want Nanny State, all intrusive government, you must pay through the nose for it.

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