Missouri ranks fourth for cost of living

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has the fourth lowest cost of living in the nation for the second quarter of 2017 according to a report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

In contrast, Hawaii, Alaska, the northeast and the west coast are some of the most expensive areas to live in. Along with the Midwest, southern states such as Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama are the least expensive areas.

According to the report, Missouri has a cost of living index of 89.2. This is based on the averages of participating cities and metropolitan areas of that state.

Missouri also is in the top 20 for the best states for millennials to live in.

The director of communications for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Maggie Kost, said that Missouri is a marketable state.

"We're a great place for millennials to live and work and a lot of the assets that are really valuable to millennials are valuable to everyone," Kost said.

The city with the lowest cost of living is Joplin. Columbia has the highest, with an index of 92.2.

Columbia resident April Sarff said living in Boone County can be tough.

"There is not enough affordable housing for lower income households and families," Sarff said. "The same house here with the same square footage in another county could be tens of thousands, if not more, less."