Do You Know Which State Has the Higher Rent?

Zoe Samuel

Image: Chad Springer/ Image Source/gettyimages

About This Quiz

While everyone knows that income inequality is on the rise in America, a little-known fact is that income equality peaked in ... wait for it ... 1967. That's right; for an entire generation-and-a-half, it's been getting progressively harder and harder to get on the property ladder, save for retirement or simply pay the bills. That means more and more people are stuck renting, whether or not they'd like to be.

Knowing where you can get the most bang for your rental buck is thus all the more important. Of course, there are other factors - some states have lower income taxes, but they generally also have really high property taxes or really crappy services, meaning you'll spend more than the difference one way or another. Some states have low rent because they have fewer opportunities to get a stable job. It's no use living somewhere super cheap if there's no proper broadband connection for remote workers and the nearest physical job is 100 miles up the road. Some states or cities have high rent but high opportunity - for example, to be in the 1% by income in Connecticut requires triple what you need to belong to the same bracket in Idaho.

Obviously, there's huge variance within states, but it's useful to have a sense of averages. We'll start by looking at the national picture and then move into different regions. It's time to find out which states are actually the most expensive when it comes to rent. Let's get started!

Which of these four states across the nation has the highest rent?

California is the most expensive state in this group, by a long, long way. Of course, it's a pretty great state if you like things like having a job and making a huge amount of money. If you're super ambitious, you may find it worth it.

Which of these four states with a totally massive city in it has the highest rent?

New York is supremely expensive. Large cities drive up averages, though, and it's a large state, so you can get very affordable housing up around Ithaca or in the mountains. It just depends what lifestyle you want to live.

Which of these four N-states has the highest rent?

If living in a state that starts with an N matters to you, then New Jersey is among your most expensive options. Nebraska is probably cheapest, unless you count North Dakota as an N-state!

Which of these four states nationally has the highest rent?

Rhode Island is small but some of it is very expensive. It can be hard to find affordable living anywhere in the state due to the number of built-up areas with very rich people in them!

Which of these four states you wouldn't expect to cost a lot has the highest rent?

Vermont is surprisingly expensive considering that it is quite rural. This is because of its location, economy and transport links to major cities.

Which of these four states named for individual people has the highest rent?

Maryland is only just the more expensive on average of these states, but that's because it has fewer larger rural areas. Virginia has more of these, which shifts its averages.

Which of these four states with more than one world-class university has the highest rent?

Yale and a number of other world-class institutions can be found in Connecticut. If living near a very, very fancy school matters to you, you will pay more for the privilege!

Which of these four states that were part of the original Thirteen Colonies has the highest rent?

Virginia produced a lot of the early presidents because it was very rich, and so were they. That meant they got to put the nation's capital within easy distance of their various estates, thus keeping prices high forever!

Which of these four high-population states has the highest rent?

Florida has a number of very important cities and a very built-up coast. This means that, other than California and New York, it is the priciest of the well-populated American states.

Which of these four small-population states has the highest rent?

New Hampshire is small but mighty, and priced to match. It has higher rents thanks to its larger towns and multiple economic opportunities.

Which of these four states in the Northeast has the highest rent?

Thanks to Boston and other very old, very big cities, Massachusetts can get really expensive. In the Northeast, New York is worse (of course), but the Bay State is not far off.

Which of these four states where fracking happens has the highest rent?

North Dakota had a shockingly high rental boom during the initial fracking rush but with lower oil prices, rents there are no longer skyrocketing. Texas, however, was already expensive, and has stayed that way.

Which of these four very rural states has the highest rent?

Iowa is mostly farmland still, which means rents are not so high there. However the presence of a couple of bigger cities and good transit links to the rest of the Midwest means it's more expsenive than some places.

Which of these four economically booming states has the highest rent?

These four states have some of the fastest-growing economies in the nation, with rates of growth over 3.5%. If you're looking for opportunity, they're a good bet - but the rent is high to match!

Which of these four very hot states has the highest rent?

Florida is not as hot as Arizona but it's a lot stickier. We'd say that's why you'll sweat more there, but it might simply be because you'll constantly be living in fear of the first of the month, due to Florida's very high rents.

Which of these four mountainous states has the highest rent?

Colorado is the most expensive mountain state because of its big city, Denver, and its position on east-west trade routes. When it comes to price, it's really a function of accessibility in mountain areas. Wyoming and Montana are lovely but a lot of their land area is simply too hard to get to for trade to have made them expensive.

Which of these four Midwestern states has the highest rent?

If you want to live in the Midwest and pay loads of rent, move to Illinois! More affordable options exist in Indiana, and a blend can be found in Ohio, Kansas and other places.

Which of these four Mexican border states has the highest rent?

It's California again! Of the border states, this one is by far the most expensive, though Texas has enclaves to match. If you want to pop over to Mexico regularly, it's your priciest place to live.

Which of these four states with an all-Republican government has the highest rent?

Florida bucks a national trend, as it is a swing state but also very wealthy. Generally, states with all-Republican governments are the less wealthy ones, with Texas and Florida being the exceptions. One upside is that if you want an all-Republican government, you have plenty of affordable options.

Which of these four states with all-Democratic government has the highest rent?

Again, it's not clear if this is cause or effect but generally speaking, states with Democratic government tend to be the wealthiest ones (or perhaps it's that wealthier states vote Democrat). As a result, they're commensurately more expensive to live in! If you want an all-blue government, Oregon is probably your most affordable option.

Which of these four states with a Portland in them has the highest rent?

Oregon has a very nice Portland but it costs more money to live in than some Portlands. If living in a town named Portland is what you love, there are cheaper options, notably Arkansas.

Which of these four New England states has the highest rent?

Connecticut is an unusual state as there isn't really anywhere genuinely cheap to live. It's very, very expensive to live on the coast or within commuting distance of New York City - and doubly so if you want both.

Which of these four DC-adjacent states has the highest rent?

Maryland is the most expensive state in this group due to the DC commuter belt. There are some areas that are so expensive they're basically major city prices, like Bethesda. If you live near a fabulous city like DC, you're going to pay accordingly.

Which of these four very northerly states has the highest rent?

Wisconsin is a mid-price state, all else being equal, but it has centers like Milwaukee that are costly. It's the most expensive of these very chilly states!

Which of these four Southern states has the highest rent?

The South is generally poorer and thus cheaper than the North. However, there's huge variance within the South. Georgia, home to major cities like Atlanta, is the most expensive state.

Which of these four Pacific states has the highest rent?

California strikes again! Hawaii and California haven't appeared in a question together before, but while it's a close-run thing between the two of them, Cali takes the crown. If you live inland there, it'll be cheap, but there's no water, not much internet in places, and not many jobs, which is why the lovely Pacific coast has most of the people.

Which of these four Gulf states has the highest rent?

Texas has some really, really cheap areas, but it also has multiple world-class cities like Dallas, Houston and Austin that pull the average up. If you want to live on the Gulf Coast in particular, it's up there with Florida as your most expensive option.

Which of these four states on the Mississippi River has the highest rent?

As home to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and other important towns and cities, Louisiana has higher rent than its overall income levels would suggest. If living on the Mississippi is important to you, generally the ends of the river are more expensive than its middle section.

Which of these four Great Lakes states has the highest rent?

Illinois has some high rents and some good reasons for them; there are a lot of opportunities there. If you just like a big lake but you don't want to pay for it, we recommend Indiana!

Which of these four Atlantic states has the highest rent?

As we established earlier, being near DC makes your rent go up. Virginia is large enough that some areas are much, much more affordable, but if you want to be in striking distance of a job in the capital, you're going to pay for it.

Which of these four states bordering Canada has the highest rent?

Minnesota is home to the Twin Cities, which pulls its average rent up, but there's still a lot of open space. If you want to smuggle things - or just take perfectly legitimate trips - over the Canadian border very regularly, it's a good choice!

Which of these four states with New in the name has the highest rent?

You knew it had to be New York, didn't you? Yep, if you want to live in a state with "new" in the name but you don't like winter or paying rent, New Mexico is a better choice.

Which of these four states just south of the 37th parallel has the highest rent?

Arizona is the most expensive state on this list. We chose this parallel as it separates a large cluster of rather different states. It's also supposedly a common line along which to see UFOs!

Which of these four states just north of the 37th parallel has the highest rent?

Colorado may be the perfect answer to the question of rent versus other quality of life issues. It has mountains! It has at least one major city where you can do almost any job! It has vast rural areas! It has small towns! If you like beaches, it has ... a really good airport.

Which of these four states with a very long coastline has the highest rent?

Hawaii is the second most expensive state in the nation, after California. If you want those magical beaches, you are going to pay for them.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes