One way for companies to attract qualified workers is to offer them a place where it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to live. That's why Cost of Living is one of our categories of competitiveness, worth a possible 75 points toward a state's overall Top States score. You can see the 2016 Top States rankings and learn more about our methodology here.
Click ahead to see America's cheapest states to live in, along with average prices for some basic items in the most expensive areas in each state. The higher the rank, the cheaper the state. Price data based on 2015 Annual Average Cost of Living Index by the Council for Community and Economic Research, C2ER.