Friday, November 11, 2011

The Best States to Live in the Central US

The central United States is a great place to live. The “middle America” feel is prominent, and the inhabitants of these states work incredibly hard. The central US was hit harder than most in the economic crash of 2008, but has rebounded brilliantly, and this region has become one of the best places to live in the United States. From the high plains of Kansas to the cattle and cowboy hats of Texas, this region defines America. It is no accident that this area is known as the “heartland”. Residents of these states have heart in abundance, as well as a dedication to the land unmatched by any other area of this nation. Read on as we discover the best states to live in the central US.

The Best States to Live in the Central US

Colorado and Iowa share the honor of best states to live in, although for decidedly different reasons. Colorado is frequently thought of as one of the best places to raise a family in the entire nation. It is the fifth richest US state per capita, with an annual income exceeding $34,000 per person. Pitkin County, Colorado’s richest, sees a personal median income of nearly $41,000 per person. Colorado, while within the central US boundaries, is shielded from much of the severe weather so common in this region. With a September 2011 unemployment rate of 8.3%, Colorado falls nearly a point below the national average, and the job market has seen significant improvement. Colorado is 8th in the nation in healthcare ranking, and graduation rates are steadily increasing.

Iowa - Best State to live in the Central US.

Iowa’s median income for a family of two exceeds $50,000 per year and the graduation rate is close to 90%, one of the highest in the nation. Iowa’s hills and lakes only increase its aesthetic appeal, while the mild climate makes for great crops and happy residents. Iowa and Colorado share the title of the best state to live in the central US.

Cheapest State to Live in the Central US

Indiana holds the honor of being the cheapest place to live in the central United States. With a cost of living index rating 23 points below the national average, Indiana is a place where your dollar really does stretch. It boasts a flat state income tax rate of only 3.4%, making their effective tax rate, including federal obligations, just over 11%, one of the lowest nationally. Nebraska was not hit nearly as hard as other central regions in the economic collapse as their main steel industry was nearly unaffected. Indiana is one of the few states who reported a budget surplus in 2011, to the tune of $1.2 billion.

Best Central States to Retire to

Texas is a wonderful place to retire. With the wide expanses of farmland and “everything is bigger” mentality, Texas is a popular destination for those who are too old to work but too young to slow down. The low property tax rates and cheap housing make this a financially smart move for those on a fixed income, and the senior services here are top-notch. Nebraska is also a popular retirement area. Lincoln, the most popular Nebraska city for retirees, boasts a full 27% of its residents are over the age of 55, and the median home price is just over $130,000.

The central US offers a different demographic than much of the rest of the country. The people here are of the “salt of the earth” variety, and everywhere feels like home. This region has long been one of the best places to live, and it only gets better as time goes by.

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