10 U.S. States With the Lowest Cost of Living



Idaho gets overlooked sometimes, which can be a good thing when it comes to cost of living. There's a lot more to Idaho than potatoes, although there are plenty of those.

The state lies west of Montana, so it's obviously a real Western state. It has ranches and mines, mountains, deep forests, wild rivers and beautiful lakes. You can catch a trout or hear a coyote howl. Hell's Canyon, which runs along the Oregon border, is deeper than the Grand Canyon, and the state has some of the finest ski resorts anywhere. The environmental quality is good, with pristine waters flowing out of high mountains. The Lewis and Clark and Oregon trails wind through the state, and there is a rich Native American heritage, with the Nez Perce and Coeur d'Alene tribes (and others) inhabiting the area.

Idaho has the wide-open spaces that people love about the West, made sweeter by the low cost of living. Median household income in Boise, the largest city, was just under $51,000 in 2011, while median house sales prices there were right at $114,000. Prices are lower in cities such as Coeur d'Alene and Idaho Falls.