How does the cost of living in Georgia compare to other states?

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 Georgia, the cost of living is 11.2% lower 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 Georgia ranks as the fifth lowest 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 – health care ranks as the most expensive in Georgia relative to national prices, costing about 3.3% less than average. Meanwhile, housing is the least expensive consumer category relative to national averages, with prices about 25.6% lower than they are nationwide.

RankStateCost of livingMost expensive categoryLeast expensive categoryMedian household income ($)
1Hawaii93.3% more than avg.HousingHealth care83,102
2New York48.2% more than avg.HousingUtilities72,108
3California42.2% more than avg.HousingHealth care80,440
4Massachusetts35% more than avg.HousingUtilities85,843
5Oregon30.1% more than avg.HousingUtilities67,058
6Alaska27.1% more than avg.UtilitiesTransportation75,463
7Maryland24% more than avg.HousingHealth care86,738
8Connecticut21.6% more than avg.HousingGroceries78,833
9Rhode Island17.2% more than avg.UtilitiesHealth care71,169
10Vermont17% more than avg.HousingHealth care63,001
11New Jersey15.2% more than avg.HousingHealth care85,751
12Maine15% more than avg.HousingGroceries58,924
13Washington11.6% more than avg.Health careUtilities78,687
14New Hampshire9.9% more than avg.Health careTransportation77,933
15Delaware7.9% more than avg.GroceriesUtilities70,176
16Nevada6.3% more than avg.TransportationUtilities63,276
17Colorado5.3% more than avg.HousingUtilities77,127
18Arizona3.2% more than avg.HousingHealth care62,055
19Pennsylvania2.5% more than avg.UtilitiesHealth care63,463
20Idaho2.1% more than avg.TransportationUtilities60,999
21Virginia1.8% more than avg.HousingTransportation76,456
22South Dakota1% more than avg.HousingTransportation59,533
23Montana0.7% more than avg.HousingUtilities57,153
24Florida0.3% more than avg.GroceriesHealth care59,227
25MinnesotaAbout avg.Health careHousing74,593
26Utah1% less than avg.TransportationUtilities75,780
27North Dakota1.8% less than avg.Health careUtilities64,577
28Wisconsin3.6% less than avg.Health careHousing64,168
29North Carolina4.3% less than avg.Health careHousing57,341
30Wyoming5.7% less than avg.GroceriesHousing65,003
31Illinois5.7% less than avg.TransportationHousing69,187
32Nebraska6.3% less than avg.Health careHousing63,229
33South Carolina6.4% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing56,227
34Kentucky6.9% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing52,295
35Louisiana7% less than avg.Health careHousing51,073
36Texas7.9% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing64,034
37Michigan8.7% less than avg.TransportationHousing59,584
38Ohio8.7% less than avg.GroceriesHousing58,642
39New Mexico9% less than avg.Health careHousing51,945
40Arkansas9.1% less than avg.GroceriesHousing48,952
41Indiana9.4% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing57,603
42West Virginia9.5% less than avg.GroceriesHousing48,850
43Iowa10.1% less than avg.Health careHousing61,691
44Missouri10.2% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing57,409
45Tennessee11% less than avg.GroceriesHousing56,071
46Georgia11.2% less than avg.Health careHousing61,980
47Oklahoma12.1% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing54,449
48Alabama12.1% less than avg.UtilitiesHousing51,734
49Kansas13.5% less than avg.Health careHousing62,087
50Mississippi16.7% less than avg.Health careHousing45,792

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