Cost of living is a measure of the people's purchasing power in a specific location. It varies from city to city and from state to state, as each geographic area has its own economic factors of influence such as their proximity to affordable sources of energy, its ability to connect to sources of consumable products and its appeal for a workforce in various industries.
Because of its nature, the cost of living is constantly changes since the same wages in different parts of the country result in a different ability to acquire goods and services, with some areas being more expensive than others and some areas being less expensive than others. It is for this reason that a cost of living calculator is necessary when comparing two locations, as it will indicate the adjusted earnings that will be necessary to achieve a comparable standard of living.
There are 14 states where living costs are more expensive than the U.S. National average. These expenses in Washington D.C. are also higher due to its overall population density as compared to that of states. The state of New Jersey has the highest number in the nation by 12.26%. The state of Iowa has the lowest cost of living in the United States by 10.31%.