In spite of high mortgage rates and lean inventory, people are still packing up their belongings and moving to a new neighborhood, a new town or a new state. What are the best states to move to, when it comes to safety and quality of living?
If you're thinking of relocating this year, consider New Hampshire, Wyoming, Virginia, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, which lead the most recent list of the best states to move to, according to immigration law experts Shoreline Immigration.
The firm analyzed data on job openings, quality of healthcare and schools, average house prices, the rate of violent crime and average salaries in each state to identify the top 10 states to take up residence — for living at its best.
Which states are the best to relocate to?
Here's a list of the 10 best states to relocate to, according to Shoreline Immigration's report.
1. New Hampshire
New Hampshire, the live free or die state, is the fifth-smallest state by area and the 10th least-populous state in the country. There is no personal income tax and no general sales tax either. The average salary is $74,663. That's 18.9% higher than the national average of $62,777. New Hampshire also has the lowest violent crime rate — including serious offenses such as homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Wyoming, the cowboy state, has the lowest population of all the 50 states. In fact, more people live in Denver, Colorado, than in all of Wyoming. It has the highest quality of schools when considering factors such as graduation rates and the number of students per teacher. Wyoming's average salary is $71,342, which is 13.6% higher than the national average.
Virginia is home to the world's largest naval base and has the second-highest concentration of tech workers, after California. Virginia is home to the largest office building in the world — the Pentagon. It has the fourth-highest quality of schools out of the top ten states, and the fourth-highest quality of healthcare — considering the cost of healthcare, access to healthcare, and the health of residents. Virginia also has the lowest annual private health insurance premiums in the country at $5,172 — 49.5% below the national average in America.
4. Rhode Island
The Ocean State is the smallest and the second most densely-populated state in the nation. The oldest restaurant in the United States — the White Horse Tavern in Newport — was established in 1763 and is still operating today at total capacity. Rhode Island has the highest quality of healthcare in the nation, alongside Iowa. It also has the third-lowest rate of violent crime in the top 10 states. With twelve colleges and universities, higher education is one of the state’s major industries.
The Badger State is home to the Wisconsin Dells, which boasts the largest number of water parks in a single area in the world. It was also in Ripon, Wisconsin, that the Republican Party was founded. Wisconsin has the lowest average home price in the top five states at $290,926, 18% below the national average of $354,886. It also has the second-highest quality of schools.
In 1901, Connecticut was also the first state in the United States to pass a law establishing a speed limit for automobiles. The average salary in Connecticut is $84,972, 35.3% higher than the national average and the highest average salary in the top 10 states. Connecticut also has the second-lowest violent crime rate in the top ten at 150 per 100,000 people.
7. North Dakota
Out of the top 10 states, the Peace Garden State has the third-highest level of job openings per 100,000 people at 3,613, 10.4% above the national average. North Dakota has the lowest average house price of the top ten states at $254,258. It also has a place in the top 10 because the total cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities is 11.4% lower than the U.S. average.
The Beehive State has the highest level of job openings per 100,000 people — 3,984 — and the third-highest school quality rating in the top ten list. The median household income in Utah is $79,133, ranking it 12th in the nation. Utah also ranks No. 1 in the nation for GDP growth. Salt Lake City is a regional center of finance and trade, and many large enterprises have offices there.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes has the third-highest quality of healthcare out of the top 10 states, alongside New Hampshire, with Rochester the home of the world-famous Mayo Clinic. In July 2023, the unemployment rate in Minnesota was only 3%. Minnesota’s average salary is $68,010, or 7.6% more than the national average. Minnesota is also one of the best states for education. Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
The Keystone State is the 5th most populous state in the U.S. Philadelphia is the state’s largest city and home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. In 2022, the median price of a home was $203,800, which is 37.9% less than the national average of $257,268, and the average rent was $979 per month. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, now owned by Nasdaq Inc., is the oldest stock exchange in the United States.
For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.
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