SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If you live in Missouri or Arkansas you’re not spending as much money on housing, utilities, and even groceries as the rest of the country. 

The latest survey by the Council for Community and Economic Research puts Missouri and Arkansas in the top five states with the lowest cost of living.

The Show Me state is the fourth state in the nation with the lowest cost of living, Arkansas is second. 
“Something we’re really proud of,” said Lindsay Haymes, vice president of workforce development at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.  

The most expensive areas were Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon, Maryland, D.C. and New York. The least expensive was the Midwest and the Southern states. 

Missouri’s cost of living index was 89.2 compared to the national average of 100.

Haymes says that’s a number employer like to share with the talent they’re trying to recruit. 

“Healthcare providers are always looking to bring in doctors and top administrators, our manufacturers are always trying to bring in engineering talent,”

And potential employees want to know how far their money will go. 

“The affordability, how much house you can get we hear that a lot,” she said. 

Springfield and Joplin’s cost of living are below the state’s average. Columbia had the highest cost of living in Missouri. When it comes to housing – Kansas City is the most expensive in the state. 

Joplin has the lowest cost of living in the Show-Me State. 

On the utility index, however,  Joplin is well above the national average at 130.9. 

Kansas City had the most inexpensive utilities at 30 percent lower than the rest of the country. Springfield is slightly above national average. 

“There’s a lot of factors that go into this,” said Joel Alexander with City Utilities. “Each area is going to have its own set of obstacles, hurdles you have to look at, to identify the actual costs to provide those services.”  

St. Louis had the highest groceries index. While Columbia had the highest health costs. However, all participating cities had an overall cost of living index below the national average.     

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