50 Cheaptest States in USA [Ranked]

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

No States State Tax Sales Tax Property Tax Total
1 Alaska 0 1.13 1 2.13
2 Wyoming 0 5.38 0.54 5.92
3 New Hampshire 5 0 1.7 6.7
4 South Dakota 0 5.52 1.24 6.76
5 Delaware 6.95 0 0.43 7.38
6 Montana 6.9 0 0.81 7.71
7 Florida 0 7.01 0.85 7.86
8 Nevada 0 7.59 0.63 8.22
9 Texas 0 7.39 1.76 9.15
10 Washington 0 8.78 0.84 9.62
11 Pennsylvania 3.07 6.22 1.34 10.63
12 Maine 5.3 5 1.05 11.35
13 Indiana 3.4 7 0.96 11.36
14 Virginia 5.75 5 0.69 11.44
15 Alabama 5 6.15 0.32 11.47
16 New Mexico 4.9 6.34 0.51 11.75
17 Michigan 4.35 6 1.45 11.8
18 Oregon 11 0 0.81 11.81
19 Utah 5 6.61 0.56 12.17
20 North Dakota 4.86 6 1.41 12.27
21 Colorado 4.63 7.24 0.58 12.45
22 Mississippi 5 7 0.47 12.47
23 Massachusetts 5.3 6.25 0.96 12.51
24 Kentucky 6 6 0.7 12.7
25 Illinois 3 8.4 1.57 12.97
26 West Virginia 6.5 6 0.48 12.98
27 Maryland 6.25 6 0.77 13.02
28 Arizona 4.54 7.92 0.57 13.03
29 Georgia 6 7.02 0.77 13.79
30 Connecticut 6.5 6 1.5 14
31 Ohio 5.925 6.83 1.29 14.045
32 Missouri 6 7.18 0.87 14.05
33 Idaho 7.8 6 0.66 14.46
34 South Carolina 7 7.04 0.49 14.53
35 Louisiana 6 8.43 0.14 14.57
36 Kansas 6.45 6.95 1.25 14.65
37 Oklahoma 5.5 8.44 0.72 14.66
38 Wisconsin 7.75 5.42 1.71 14.88
39 Nebraska 6.84 6.51 1.72 15.07
40 Arkansas 7 7.79 0.51 15.3
41 Hawaii 11 4.38 0.24 15.62
42 Minnesota 7.85 7.22 0.94 16.01
43 Tennessee 6 9.41 0.67 16.08
44 North Carolina 7.75 8.07 0.75 16.57
45 Vermont 9.4 6 1.53 16.93
46 Iowa 8.98 6.94 1.24 17.16
47 Rhode Island 9.9 7 1.24 18.14
48 New York 8.97 8.3 1.14 18.41
49 New Jersey 10.75 7 1.74 19.49
50 California 10.55 9.06 0.61 20.22

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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20 Comments

  1. chandresh on January 24, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    thnx to HSB….that really helping and valuable information.

  2. YSF on September 23, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    that s really a valuable info for new students to USA

  3. Rajeshwari on September 6, 2010 at 11:11 AM

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

  4. mudita on August 31, 2010 at 7:00 AM

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

  5. jyotsna on August 26, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    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.

  6. Vivek on August 25, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    Great article and insightful stuff!!Keep up the good work

  7. Haider on August 11, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    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

  8. avinash on August 10, 2010 at 4:27 AM

    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…

  9. Srinivas on August 9, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    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 🙂 🙂

  10. Kranti on August 7, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    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.

  11. Syed Eheteshamuddin on August 7, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Thanks a lot, all u r efforts are worth praising.

  12. Jithamanyu on August 2, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    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.

  13. Islam on August 2, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Thanks a lot guys!!! Really helpful.

  14. avinash on August 2, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    thank you very much….very esssential ..who cares money!!!!

  15. Ashton on August 1, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    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:):):)

  16. yashovardhan on August 1, 2010 at 9:34 AM

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

    thnks hsb……….

  17. Vinay on August 1, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. santhosh on August 1, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    very helpful thanks hsb 🙂

  19. kamal sood on August 1, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    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.

  20. Iyyappan on August 1, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    Really it will be helpful ..thnks a lot..

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