Montana’s Cost of Living Might Be Higher Than You Think
Stacker, using data from the Council of Community and Economic Research, made a list of the 25 states that are the cheapest to live in. When I came across this list, I thought surely Montana must be in the top 15, or the top 25 at the very least. Wrong. I'm a real news junkie and consider myself fairly informed, yet I was way off on this.
As an attempt to soothe my bruised ego, I tried to find a fault in Stacker's methods, but it seems legit.
Each state's cost of living index was calculated using data from a voluntary survey to find the average index of metro areas and cities measured in each state. Data was rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.
The Cost of Living Index is calculated based on the price of more than 60 goods and services. Each state's index is a percentage of the U.S. average, set at 100. For example, a state with an index score of 90 has a cost of living 10% lower than the national average. - Stacker
#25 on the list was our neighboring state, North Dakota for their "booming economy, high median wages, and low state income taxes." Maybe a friendly rivalry could inspire Montana's leadership to try to outcompete North Dakota on these metrics.
#1 on the list is Mississippi, though I don't think being the absolute cheapest state to live in is much of an achievement. That said, I hope Montana at least ranks if Stacker does this analysis again next year. That may be asking to much, I'd settle for cheaper housing prices.