50 Cheaptest States in USA [Ranked]

Raghuram Sukumar Universities 20 Comments

Education in US is expensive for those who earn in Dollars. For International students, when the conversion rates come into to play, it can be very expensive. I have posted few articles about Cost of living in USA.

Cost of living in USA at any given location is greatly influenced by Taxes (Sales, Local, State and Property taxes). You could see that from above links. I paid $75 for apartment rent and students in LA pay around $350 to $400.

Table below shows the taxes data for all 50 states ranked from lowest top highest.

Cheapest States by Taxes in USA

NoStatesState TaxSales TaxProperty TaxTotal
3New Hampshire501.76.7
4South Dakota05.521.246.76
16New Mexico4.96.340.5111.75
20North Dakota4.8661.4112.27
26West Virginia6.560.4812.98
34South Carolina77.040.4914.53
44North Carolina7.758.070.7516.57
47Rhode Island9.971.2418.14
48New York8.978.31.1418.41
49New Jersey10.7571.7419.49

I used taxes data from TaxFoundation.org and created the spreadsheet. Unlike India you will pay sales tax for anything you buy. In California 9.06% sales tax for a $1000 laptop comes to $90 ( total of $1090) and if you buy same laptop in New Hampshire, you have to pay just $1000.

Lets do simple calculation

  • California
    • Food and Groceries – $200 per month (before taxes)
    • 1 Year Total – $200 * 12 = $2400
    • You will pay around ( 9.06% of 2400 = $230) in Taxes alone.
  • In New Hampshire or Montana you get to save $230 per year.

Also, during month of July/August almost every state in USA will have Tax Free Weekend. For instance here in North Carolina, Tax free weekend is next week for 3 days. Any electronics and school supplies will be sold without sales tax. For NC sales Tax is 8.0%   and if I buy a computer, I would pay 8% less, which is very good savings on top of any coupons and sale items. Students should take advantage of this tax free weekend in the state where they live.

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  1. hey its a great news to share ……………………. thanks a lot…………..

  2. it'll be really vry hpful an easier to select the universities….thanks a lot…

  3. Thanks A lot!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The statistic provided by the HSB is really informative and crucial for those who are planning to or are already inU.S.

    Personally fpr me it was very helpful because i have some financial crisis and with the help of this calculation io will apply to those universities only to whom i think i can afford for Persuing my M.S.(biotechnology).

    any information related to Universities providing M.S.(biotechnology)in these cheaper states will be welcomed.

  4. my toefl score is 67 can you suggest me any university in texas that accept this toefl score , i shall be really thankful to you plz

  5. HSB….bible for gre…really am addicted to it..and am late to comment but daily after posting dis post i mean cheapest states …am visiting nearly 10 to 15 times in a day…very useful ..thank you …keep rocking…

  6. Here in Missouri, August 6-9 was a tax-free weekend. So I and my friend, Muthu saved around $50 each while ordering laptop online on the 6th of August. It is very useful for students like us so that we can save some of our money even while we study. So, this also reminds everyone of us to check with our state's site at a regular basis. It keeps us updated of our state's happenings.

    I thank HSB very much for this vital info 🙂 🙂

  7. First of all thanks a lot for such a useful information. You have mentioned here about Tax Free Weekend so I wanted to ask that how will we come to know about such weekends or will that be throughout July /August. I am going to Oklahoma . So could you please tell me about such weekends there?

    Thanks in advance.

  8. I expected California to be the costliest state. But the real shocker for me is Florida. It seems that it s one of the cheapest state, even cheaper than Texas. Thanks a lot for this.

  9. Thanks HSB for sharing with us this useful information . I thought CA & NY will be the most expensive state but never thought NJ will also be that expensive. I really had no idea that different States have different tax rates . Take care & God Bless You:):):)

  10. this information is so necessary for any of the student ,who is planning to make a pg or ug over dere……………….

    thnks hsb……….

  11. hi hsb,

    the report really gives an insight ,specially sales tax which we all will be paying over there so we can now really make out a proper choice. but if you can differentiate about the costs of living as pg and in apartments. it will be really helpful.

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