Good news my fellow Texans, we're livin' good. I mean, we all knew that, but it's always nice to read data that reinforces what we know to be absolutely true. The only states ranked better than the Lone Star State as most affordable states to live in: Kansas, our friends to the north, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. But, c'mon, Kansas and Nebraska? Really?

I don't even know, with certainty, anyone actually lives in either of those states. Let's just go ahead and move Oklahoma and Texas up to number one and two.

To get these results for this Big Deal List, we did everything by the numbers. That meant turning to Sperling’s Best Places, the 2010 U.S. Census, and the Census’ American Community Survey for 2008 through 2012 for data in the following affordability criteria:

  • Adjusted Income (the higher the better)
  • Cost of Food Index (the lower the better)
  • Cost of Utilities Index (the lower the better)
  • Miscellaneous Cost of Living Index (the lower the better)
  • Median Home Price (the lower the better)
  • Unemployment Rate (the lower the better)

Using that data, we ranked the states in each category from 1 to 50, and then averaged each state’s rankings into an overall Big Deal Score. The place with the lowest number for that averaged score became our most affordable state, and that turned out to be Iowa.

Now that you know how we came up with the list, here’s the state-by-state summary, giving some perspective on the survey’s ups, downs, and interesting data points.

It would appear the further away from flyover states you get, the more expensive living is. Bottom five: 50. California 49. Rhode Island 48. Hawaii 47. New York 46. Massachusetts. Click here to check out where the rest of the U.S. falls.

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