10 Reasons to Move to Iowa from an Expensive State

10 Reasons to Move to Iowa from an Expensive State

Farming landscape in Iowa.

Moving to Iowa has a lot of benefits, especially if you are moving from an expensive state like California, New York, or Hawaii. When it comes to finances, the environment, population, work, and more, Iowa often proves to be better than the more expensive alternatives. Here are the top reasons why you should move to Iowa from an expensive state.

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Moving from California to Iowa

California is a large state with a population of over 39 million people. This large state is full of tourists and this may be overwhelming to some people. If you are looking for a more laid-back state then Iowa is the place for you.

Reason 1- Fewer Natural Disasters

California had a total of 14 natural disasters in 2022 that were proclaimed by the governor. These disasters include multiple forest fires, tropical storms, earthquakes, and severe winter storms.

If you are looking to move from California to get away from so many natural disasters, moving to Iowa is a good option. Iowa only had 9 declared natural disasters with all of them being for severe weather such as snowstorms, flash flooding, and tornados.

While the state still has forms of natural disasters, they are well equipped to handle them. Most homes in Iowa have basements, or sheltered areas for their residents to go during a tornado. When it comes to snowstorms, most plowing companies are running trucks 24/7 during bad weather. This allows people to still be able to get where they need to go.

Reason 2- Lower Unemployment Rate

Golden Gate Bridge in California

Another reason you should move from California is to get away from a State with a high unemployment rate. The unemployment rate in California for 2022 was 4.6%, which is higher than the average national unemployment rate in the United States. The state even added 23,100 new jobs throughout the year, yet the unemployment rate remained the same.

When looking to move from California to a state with a lower unemployment rate, Iowa is a good choice. Iowa’s unemployment rate is only 3% and they have 64,661 current job openings. The state also added a total of 11,400 jobs in the past year, which helped keep the unemployment rate low.

Reason 3- Fewer Tourists

California is one of the most visited towns in the United States when it comes to tourists. In 2022 California’s tourism count was around 240 million people. This surge in tourism makes a lot of the cities very busy and crowded and can make the local attractions less appealing for locals to visit.

Moving from California to get away from such a tourism-heavy state is very appealing to many people. The move to Iowa can help people live a life where they are not constantly surrounded by tourists.

While Iowa may not have as many tourists as California, that doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty of fun attractions to visit. Some of the top places to visit in Iowa include the Field of Dreams Movie Site, Maquoketa Caves State Park, and the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Moving from New York to Iowa

Rockefeller Center in New York City

New York is one of the busiest states in the United States and is known for its fast-paced city life. The fast-paced style of living can be very expensive and that style of life isn’t for everyone. If this isn’t for you, the move from New York to Iowa may be the change you need.

Reason 4- Easy Access to Nature

New York is mostly known for its city life, though it does have some places where residents can experience nature. However, these areas tend to be crowded areas such as Central Park or botanical centers. To reach natural areas of nature you often have to drive a while to get out of the city. People who want to live close to nature may find themselves wanting to move from New York.

If you are looking for a state with more nature, Iowa is a good state to move to. Iowa still has some bigger cities, but a lot of the towns are surrounded by either farmland or forest areas. It is very easy to drive a short distance out of town and find yourself surrounded by the beauty of nature.

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Reason 5- More Affordable Houses

When it comes to buying a house, New York is on the higher end of the housing market. The average cost of a house in New York is $405,000. This amount is not within everyone’s budget, and some people may find that after buying a home in New York they cannot truly afford it.

Moving from New York to a less expensive state, such as Iowa, can help you find a more affordable house. The average cost of houses in Iowa is only $228,800. This is significantly less than the cost of homes in New York.

Reason 6- Less Traffic

Since New York is a busy state with a lot of cities, it is very common for traffic jams to occur. It is estimated the average amount of time New Yorkers spend stuck in traffic is 117 hours per year. This many hours of delay can cost commuters almost $2,000 per year.

The move from New York to Iowa will create a big difference in the amount of time you are stuck in traffic. Iowa doesn’t experience many traffic delays unless a road is under construction or the weather is bad. These types of delays are not frequent and often are cleared up fairly quickly or can be avoided by taking another route.

Reason 7- Midwestern Hospitality

When moving to Iowa from an expensive state, like New York, you will quickly realize just how neighborly everyone can be. You won’t have to deal with the hustle of New Yorkers trying to get where they need to be on time.

As a midwestern state, Iowa truly is a good state to live in and is filled with friendly people. The slogan “Iowa Nice” could not be any truer. Iowa is filled with tight-knit communities full of neighbors who are willing to give anyone a helping hand. Don’t be afraid to get to know your neighbors and ask for help if you need it.

Moving From Hawaii to Iowa

Sandy beach in Hawaii

Hawaii may seem like a paradise and the perfect place to live. What a lot of people don’t realize is living on an island can be very expensive, especially when you have to get certain products shipped to you from the mainland. This extra expense on goods can cause people to move from Hawaii to less expensive states such as Iowa.

Reason 8- Easy Access to Supplies

A lot of Hawaii’s supplies need to be shipped from the mainland. This can often cause delays for stores and consumers. The average shipping time is 3-5 days via airplane and 7-10 days via boat. All these items are shipped to Honolulu, Hawaii and it takes an additional 10-14 days for items to get to the neighboring islands.

This issue of shipping is not a problem in Iowa. In Iowa, you can commonly get items you buy overnight or within a day or two. This convenience makes Iowa a good state to move to in comparison to Hawaii.

Reason 9- Cost of Living

Hawaii has a very high average cost of living. The average cost of living in Hawaii is 65.7% higher than the national average. This is mainly due to how expensive houses are with the average house costing $800,200. To live comfortably in Hawaii, you would need to make around $65,600 a year.

This high cost of living is what causes people to move from Hawaii. Moving to a state such as Iowa can dramatically lower the amount of money you need to make to live comfortably. The average cost of living in Iowa is 7% lower than the national average and the housing rates are 20% lower than the national average rates. Having a lower cost of living means people can comfortably live off a lower salary.  

Reason 10- Lower Average Costs

Since supplies in Hawaii are often in high demand, the prices are generally higher to reflect this. Some examples of high prices in Hawaii in 2022 are a basic sit-down lunch meal in town costing $22, a dozen eggs comes in at $8, and a 2-liter bottle of coke is $4.18.

In Iowa, these items are significantly cheaper. A basic sit-down lunch meal in town is only $14, a dozen eggs are $3.18, and a 2-liter bottle of coke is only $1.91. The prices are not as high since they don’t have to be shipped as far.

These price differences may not seem too drastic, but slightly higher prices on all your basic products can quickly add up. Moving from Hawaii to a less expensive state, such as Iowa, can help you save money in the long run.


Moving to Iowa from an expensive state has a lot of benefits. From saving money to having a more relaxed style of living, Iowa has it all. If you are moving from California, New York, or Hawaii you will see a lot of positive changes when moving to Iowa.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.