According to Best Places, a website that analyzes information for cost of living among other categories for states, Michigan has an overall of 88.3 compared to the United States average of 100. This means that Michigan, overall, has a lower cost of living than the average state. Most notably, Michigan’s score of 67 for housing sets the average much lower; whereas its most expensive commodity, utilities, is only at 102 and barely raises it. Where do these numbers stand next to the least populated and most populated states?
Wyoming, with a population of 584, 153 people, ends up having a 99.8 cost of living score. Retroactive to Michigan’s score of 67 for housing as a low, Wyoming’s 106 for housing is its highest number. The lowest figure for Wyoming happens to be transportation, which is at 90. One shocking statistic however, is that the average home cost in Wyoming is $218,500 whereas the national average is $216,200. This shows that just because a state has fewer residents, that it does not mean the overall cost will be lower as well.
Now on the other end of the spectrum, California, which has a population of 39,250,017 people. With all of their metropolitan cities, it should come to no surprise that California has an overwhelming cost of living score of 152. To be fair, their average, excluding the largest outlier, is only 109.8. Even though that is above average, it is a livable number that shouldn’t be too concerning for those looking to move out west. However, the number that drags the 109.8 to 152, is the housing score of 242. The average house in California costs $548,100 which is 2.5 times larger than the national average.
All this information proves is that there is little to no consistency with state size and cost of living. The least populated state had a cost around the national average and the largest was slightly above average without housing cost. The moral is that research matters heavily in the moving process and that assumptions cannot be made. Now let's enjoy the short summer we have in the Mitten and be relieved that we don’t have to pay outlandish prices.