“I can’t wait to get the heck out of here.” When you live in the Midwest, this statement is commonplace when talking about future plans.
I, however, don’t believe living in the Midwest is all that bad.
As a native Iowan, I have lived in the Midwest my entire life. However, I have also done my fair share of traveling; I’ve been to 34 states and nine countries. I’ve been to the beaches of New Zealand, to the cities of Sweden and the villages in Central America, and I spent the majority of my summer in 2018 living in Seattle. Traveling is my passion, but there is still something special to me about coming home.
The biggest reason why I believe living in the Midwest isn’t so bad: the cost.
While living in the Midwest isn’t exactly the most exotic experience, you can’t deny that living here is relatively affordable.
According to the U.S. Census, the 12 states that make up the Midwest are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
On average, Midwest dwellers can expect annual savings of $3,098 on rent and $4,454 on mortgage costs, and the savings would be even more if you were comparing to a high-cost region like the West Coast.
In addition, only two of the twelve Midwestern states – Illinois and Minnesota – have an average rent higher than the U.S. average.
The cost of living is a term referring to the amount of money necessary to maintain a certain standard of living. It is calculated by looking at the costs of essential expenses such as accommodation, food, clothing, healthcare and taxes.
The Midwest and the South have the lowest costs of living in the U.S., while Hawaii and the West Coast have the highest. According to a U.S. News and World Report list ranking affordability, seven of the top ten most affordable states are in the Midwest, with Iowa coming in first.
This is how I think about it – I would rather live in the Midwest for an affordable price and get to go on one trip of my choosing every year than spend all my money living in a big, exotic city and never getting to go anywhere else.
For me, living in rural America doesn’t make me sheltered, it will give me the opportunity to see even more of the world.
A common complaint about the Midwest is that it isn’t pretty, but there are plenty of places to get your “nature fix” in the Midwest. I think we often discount the beauty around us because we are so used to it. Go check out the Palisades in southeastern South Dakota, the sand dunes of Michigan or the lakes of Minnesota. If you’re looking for city life, look no farther than Chicago or Minneapolis. Go take a peek out your window and when you think about it, hills and fields aren’t really that hard on the eyes.