Inflation is a global phenomenon that is changing lives and forcing difficult decisions. Consumer prices are rising at a rate that hasn't been seen in 40 years, and families are having to adjust their buying habits. The government's latest inflation report for June was worse than expected, with a 9.1% increase in the year-on-year consumer price index. The five most expensive states to live in the US are Rhode Island, Connecticut, Oregon, Hawaii and New York.
Rhode Island has the highest cost of living rate, with an index of 193.3, nearly double the national average. Connecticut has an index of 121.6, making it the eighth most expensive state in the US. Oregon's house prices rose 18% last year, and Portland's two-bedroom apartments cost more than double what a similar place in Pittsburgh would cost. Hawaii has an index of 117.2, making it the ninth most expensive state in the US.
Food costs 50% more than the national cost due to the fact that most things must be shipped there. New York is almost as expensive as Hawaii, with health care costs 7.1% above the national average. The Northeast is particularly affected by rising energy prices, with Rhode Island deriving a higher percentage of its energy from natural gas than any other state. Heating fuel prices have also risen sharply, dealing a serious blow to much of the Northeast. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, expect to pay twice the monthly energy bill compared to what you would on the east coast of Wilmington, Delaware.
Nebraska is one of the 15 cheapest states in the US, with a cost-of-living index of 7.1% lower than the national average. Washington is another expensive northwestern state, with a cost-of-living index 4.4% lower than in the entire country. Health care costs 18.5% more than in the entire country, but everything else is below the national average, except food which averages about 50% more than the national cost. North Carolina is cheaper than most states, with health care costs 7.1% above the national average but everything else below it - except housing which is 56.3% above the national average.