Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (2024)

Wondering which is the best state to live off-grid? Let’s take a closer look at which parts of the country are most suited to this increasingly popular lifestyle.

Living off-grid is a bold decision but one that can be very rewarding. It isn’t for everyone, as it takes a lot of planning and commitment to be successful. If you’ve been thinking about making the change, you may wonder what the best state to live off-grid is. We’ve compiled a list to help you get the ball rolling.

What Is Off-Grid Living?

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (1)

There are many definitions of off-grid living, as it encompasses a variety of modern homesteading practices. Typically it refers to living without municipal infrastructures such as water, sewage, gas, and electrical grids, hence the term “off-grid”. It means that you will need to find your own ways of accessing water and generating electricity.

Off-grid living focuses on sustainable living and renewable energy. It’s about getting back to basics and being self-sufficient while minimizing your impact on the environment.Living off-grid will enable you to:

  • Live more sustainably
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Become self-sufficient
  • Enjoy a healthier, more active, and rewarding lifestyle
  • Be part of a like-minded community
  • Save money
  • Reduce your carbon footprint

If you’re thinking of giving off-grid living a try, here is also a comprehensive overview of all the pros and cons of off-grid living you should know beforehand.

1. Best State to Live Off Grid: Alabama

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (2)

Alabama is said to be the best state to live off-grid for various reasons. This state boasts inexpensive land, low property taxes, and a low cost of living. On top of that, there are several counties without strict building codes, which makes finding your slice of paradise and setting up shop fairly straightforward. Alabama also has plenty of rainfall, and you can harvest rainwater without restriction.

2. Missouri

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (3)

Missouri has very relaxed off-grid laws, particularly when it comes to zoning regulations, building codes, and even homeschooling — which is a great option for those wishing to raise their families off-grid. The access to open rural landscapes enables you to carve out your own space. Missouri boasts great farmland along with short, temperate winters, so growing your own crops shouldn’t be a problem. It’s also home to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, which can be a valuable resource for those looking to make their off-grid home in Missouri.

3. Tennessee

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (4)

For anyone looking to experience all four seasons and have a low cost of living, Tennessee is the best state to live off-grid. Despite the cool winters, the growing season lasts about 260 days, so you can harvest plenty of food for fermenting and pickling to get you through the winter.

It pays to do some research when choosing a plot of land, as certain counties don’t have any building codes, giving you the freedom to do what you want. It’s also worth noting that the state technically owns all the water (including rainfall). Still, they follow riparian rights, meaning you can use water on your property provided it’s put to beneficial use.

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (5)

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4. Best State to Live Off Grid: Hawaii

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (6)

The best state to live off-grid for those seeking warm and temperate climates is Hawaii. While the Aloha state does get its fair share of rainfall, there are no rain harvesting restrictions, so you won’t be short of water. Due to its lush landscape, it’s also a great choice for growing crops, and fish and game are plentiful. Energy harvesting is a dream here, as the islands get plenty of sun and wind.

Hawaii does have a high cost of living but has fairly low property taxes. Another thing to watch out for is the strict state regulations, depending on what your plans for an off-grid living look like.

5. Kentucky

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (7)

Kentucky is known for easy off-grid living, as is made clear by the significant Amish population. It’s a very rural state with cheap, fertile landand a long growing season, making it one of the best states to live off-grid. The state also has a plentiful water supply from rivers, streams, and lakes and no restrictions on harvesting rainwater. If you wish to raise livestock, it’s easy to qualify as a farm, which means you pay less property tax.

6. Oregon

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (8)

If you love the moody atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest, you may want to consider Oregon. It is already home to a few well-established off-grid communities such as Breitenbush, which has its own wellness retreat, and Three Rivers Recreation Area.

Oregon is one of the easiest states to go off-grid because the state values renewable energy and offers incentives for setting up off-grid solutions. The state also features low property costs, access to many valuable resources, and few restrictions on hunting and fishing. While it is legal, the zoning laws can make it difficult to set up your property, and you will need permits for water harvesting.

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (9)

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7. Best State to Live Off Grid: Colorado

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (10)

Setting up off-grid in Colorado is not an inexpensive undertaking, but the backdrop might be worth it. Much of the state has very detailed and restrictive zoning laws, meaning there will be a bit of red tape to get through. Colorado also has the 35 Acre Law, which means you’ll have to buy at least 35 acres of land for an off-grid property.

This state gets plenty of sunshine and solar power is a popular energy source. There are state incentives and rebates for installing these types of systems. When it comes to water, you can harvest rainwater (though there are limits), and you’ll need to apply for a permit for other water use.

8. New Hampshire

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (11)

Despite having more rules and regulations than most states for off-grid living, New Hampshire continues to be where people flock. Some homes sold are already disconnected from the electrical grid. There are plenty of areas without zoning laws in the state, but building codes will need to be followed.

There are incentives for installing alternative energy systems and even property tax exemptions for solar panel systems in certain areas. Rainwater harvesting is legal (and encouraged), and riparian rights are followed for other water sources.

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (12)

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9. Wyoming

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (13)

Going off-grid in Wyoming is relatively straightforward due to relaxed regulations and several areas without zoning rules. Due to this, it’s one of the best states for off-grid living if you’re looking to live in a mobile or tiny home. The state laws are favorable towards solar and wind energy — in fact, solar equipment is exempt from sales tax, and you can get a rebate from the state for the cost.

You can pick up some low-priced land on which you can easily grow staple crops. Just be warned that access to water will require a permit, and several parts of the state experience drought-like conditions.

10. Best State to Live Off Grid: New Mexico

Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (14)

New Mexico is the best state to live off-grid for those looking to spend as little money as possible. Both the cost of land and the cost of living is considerably lower than in many other states. Much of the state also has no zoning laws whatsoever, making it easy to get yourself started. It’s the second sunniest state, so you’ll have plenty of sun for your solar windows and panels.

This state is also home to a well-known off-grid living community in Taos called the Greater World Community. It’s a community of Earthship homes, passive solar earth shelters made from upcycled and recycled materials. As much of New Mexico isn’t developed, off-grid living is very common in this state since there isn’t any other choice.

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Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid (2024)


Ranked: The 10 Best States to Live Off-Grid? ›

The overall rankings, however, placed Iowa, Texas and Kentucky in the top three (in that order). Minnesota and Oklahoma rounded out the top five. Filling in the top 10 states for off-grid living in 2023 are Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Illinois and Montana.

What are the top 10 states for off-grid living? ›

The overall rankings, however, placed Iowa, Texas and Kentucky in the top three (in that order). Minnesota and Oklahoma rounded out the top five. Filling in the top 10 states for off-grid living in 2023 are Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Illinois and Montana.

What is the best state to live off the grid? ›

Alaska is the best state to settle in if you want complete isolation and don't mind the long winter months. The upside is that the land is cheap, but you'll pay for it with a short growing season. Another benefit is that Alaska has the lowest taxes in the United States.

What states allow complete off-grid living? ›

Download Table Data
StateOff-Grid Rating
New HampshireGood
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What state is it easiest to live off the land? ›

Oregon. Oregon is home to a number of major off-grid communities, including the 4,000-acre piece of land known as Three Rivers. Rather than using public utilities, the 75 to 80 members of the association share solar and wind power. Oregon also has low property costs and many desirable natural resources.

Where is the easiest place to live off grid? ›

Alaska (USA)

Several states are ideal for off-grid living in the US, such as Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon, Ohio, Texas, and Kentucky. Likewise, the entire state of Alaska is one of the best places to live off the grid in the US, especially for experienced off-griders and adventurers.

What state is the best to live off the land? ›

That's why we compiled this list of the best states for homesteading and off grid living. The 12 best homestead states are Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona, Alaska, Michigan, Idaho, Maine, Oregon, Montana, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Missouri.

What state has the best way of life? ›

Washington. Washington state has the highest quality of life in all 50 states.

What state has the weakest power grid? ›

Almost one-quarter of 2022 power outages occurred in California. The state of California also came in first for the most power outages overall in the last 20 years: 2,684.

What state has the best quality of life to live? ›

“We realized no one had done a comprehensive quality-of-life comparison between states; other studies made comparisons across countries only.” Massachusetts and Minnesota were the two states with the highest living standards in the U.S., according to the study.

What state has the most stable power grid? ›

(The Center Square) – Arizona and Nevada top the list of states with the most reliable electrical utilities, according to a report from the Citizens Utility Board.

What states have the least land restrictions? ›

Southern states make up some of the least-restrictively regulated states. These states include Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Can you live 100% off-grid? ›

The short answer is yes. But many states have different requirements for installation of an off-grid energy system. In some states if you have access to electricity from the grid, your solar system must remain connected to the grid and they will not grant a permit for an off-grid system.

What state has the cheapest way of living? ›

Take a look at the 10 cheapest states to live in for 2022.
  1. Mississippi. Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. ...
  2. Kansas. ...
  3. Alabama. ...
  4. Oklahoma. ...
  5. Georgia. ...
  6. Tennessee. ...
  7. Missouri. ...
  8. Iowa.
Mar 31, 2023

What state has the best homestead laws? ›

10 Best States For Homesteading 2023
  1. Tennessee. Rural Tennessee is already a popular location for sustainable living enthusiasts, with a fantastic harvesting season of around 9 months of the year, there are low property taxes and costs.
  2. Idaho. ...
  3. Oregon. ...
  4. Maine. ...
  5. Michigan. ...
  6. Connecticut. ...
  7. Montana. ...
  8. Alaska. ...

Where is the cheapest off-grid place to live? ›

There are different opinions regarding the cheapest place to live off-grid in the United States. However, an expert from off-grid Permaculture considers Alabama the cheapest state for off-grid living in the U.S. This is due to cheaper land, lower property tax rates, and counties with few building codes.

How to live off the grid cheaply? ›

How to live off the grid with no money
  1. Do a work exchange. If you're new to the off-grid life, a great way to start is through Worldpackers. ...
  2. Join an off-grid community. ...
  3. Find low-cost or free land. ...
  4. Construct a cabin or tiny house. ...
  5. Grow your own food. ...
  6. Fish responsibly. ...
  7. Forage for edible plants. ...
  8. Collect and filter water.

How can I live off the grid and still make money? ›

How To Earn Money From Your Off-Grid Home
  1. Starting an Online Business. So many jobs can be done online these days. ...
  2. Market Gardening. If you're planning to start a garden, you could take it up a notch and garden for other people as well. ...
  3. Farming With Animals. ...
  4. Homemade Products. ...
  5. Tourism. ...
  6. Working Away From Home.

What is the most grid like city? ›

Out of 100 major world cities, Chicago “exhibits the closest approximation of a single perfect grid.” It's not quite the City of Light, but it befits our city.

What is the cheapest state to buy land and live? ›

Lowest price per 5 acres: $6,500

So for both 1 acre and 5 acre plots, the cheapest states to buy land in 2023 are New Mexico, Arizona, Mississippi, followed by Colorado and California. Some great news for you here is that at Compass Land USA, we do a lot of work in Colorado, and Arizona.

What state in the US has the cheapest land? ›

InMyArea.com performed a study that took a look at the median prices per acre in 2021 and found that Arizona had the cheapest median cost per acre, at $4,164. The data includes the price of land with existing homes and the cost of land designated as a homesite was also included so that you can have some comparison.

What is the toughest state to homestead? ›

Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska has extreme weather conditions, especially winters, and does not offer homesteading programs. In 2021, lawnstarter.com ranked Alaska as the worst state to start a farm, with a lower rank on returns on investments. Hawaii's cost of living and the value of land is very high.

What is the #1 best state? ›

Utah takes No. 1 in rankings that measure health care, education and economy. WASHINGTON, May 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Utah is the Best State in the country, according to the 2023 Best States rankings.

What is the happiest and healthiest state in America? ›

Massachusetts: “The Happiest State in the U.S.”

Our research studies reveal that the state of Massachusetts topped the rankings for 3 of our categories: Well-being, Mental Health, and Family, and featured in the top 11 states for three more: Health Care, Financial Security, and Work.

What is the most stressful state to live in? ›

According to the study, completed by website Innerbody, not only did Nevada rank as the number 1 most stressful state to live in overall, the Silver State also ranks as the number 1 most stressful state to work in.

What state has the lowest electricity cost? ›

Electricity Rates By State
  • The Average Electricity Rate in the U.S. is 15.85 cents per kilowatt-hour.
  • Hawaii has the highest average electricity rate of 44.25 cents per kilowatt-hour.
  • North Dakota has the lowest average electricity rate of 9.72 cents per kilowatt-hour.

What state has the best clean energy? ›

Texas produces the most renewable energy of any state, but it also generates an outsized amount of electricity from fossil fuels. So renewables only account for 26% of the state's total electricity production. In 2021, 44% of Texas's electricity came from fossil gas, also known as natural gas.

Which state uses the least electricity? ›

Historically, Vermont has used less energy than any other state since 1961.

What state has the best economy? ›

There are several reasons why California has the highest GDP in America. Firstly, the state has a diverse economy, with major industries including technology, entertainment, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Which state has the most unreliable power grid? ›

Let's look at how your home state stacks up in terms of power security. Over the past two decades, more Florida energy customers have experienced a power outage than those of any other state: over 900,000. But in 2022, Texas took the top spot for the highest number of impacted customers.

What are the top states that use the most solar energy? ›

Once again, California tops the list with 10,510,648 homes currently powered primarily by solar, which is not surprising when you take into account that California is also the most populous state. In terms of homes powered by solar energy, California is followed by Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

Is there any land left to claim in the United States? ›

Is There Any Unclaimed Land in the United States? No, all land in the United States had been claimed – either by a private or public entity.

What US state has the most open land? ›

#StateFederal Land
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Where in the US is there no zoning laws? ›

Houston is the only big American city without zoning. Some people argue that Houston is effectively zoned, as many neighborhoods have deed restrictions that limit development.

How much money do I need to start living off-grid? ›

To live comfortably (but in an energy-conscious way), you'll probably need to invest $20,000 to $30,000. This will allow you to have enough power for computers, off-grid internet, and AC in very hot weather. If you install most of the system yourself, you can get the costs down to about $13,000.

How do I start off grid living? ›

How to live off the grid: the ultimate guide for beginners (2022)
  1. Find the Right Location.
  2. Build the Smallest Home Possible.
  3. Design for Passive Heating and Cooling.
  4. Install Off Grid Solar Power and Solar Hot Water Systems.
  5. Off Grid Water Systems.
  6. Waste Disposal.
  7. Grow Your Own Food.

Is it a crime to live off the grid? ›

For those who have ever dreamed of living off the grid in California, there is good news — it is absolutely legal! However, it is important to note that there are some local laws and guidelines you'll need to follow depending on where exactly you plan to set up a home.

What is the most expensive state to live in the US? ›

According to several studies on cost of living, Hawaii is the most expensive U.S. state to live in. Prices are typically double in Hawaii compared to those on the mainland, and the continued rise in inflation is making costs ranging from housing to health care much more expensive.

What city in U.S. has lowest cost of living? ›

In its report, Niche also ranked the cheapest places to live in the U.S. At the top of the list this year is Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville has been steadily rising in Niche's Lowest Cost of Living ranking over the past few years, placing number six in 2021, number three in 2022 and finally, number one in 2023.

What is the most expensive state to live in 2023? ›

Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in, with a cost of living index of 184. Massachusetts is ranked second, with a cost of living index of 149.7, followed by California at 137.6, and New York at 134.5.

Which state has the best homestead exemption? ›

Kansas, Florida, Iowa, and Texas provide an unlimited dollar value homestead exemption. Florida and Texas, in fact, are well known as debtor-friendly states because of their homestead exemptions.

What southern state is best for homesteading? ›


Clearly one of the best states for homesteading, Tennessee is another fantastic option for off-the-grid living. There are plenty of resources for people who want to live away from densely populated areas. Also, rural living is incredibly friendly to small budgets, especially in terms of land prices.

What are the cons of the Homestead Act? ›

From 500 million acres that the homestead act had, only 80 million were occupied. Ordinary Americans suffered because of the higher protective tariffs, wartime excise taxes, & inflation made to the prices of finished goods to go up while wages lagged 20% or more behind cost increases.

Where is the cheapest place to live on Earth? ›

ECUADOR (tie) The low cost of living is the number one reason for many expats moving to Ecuador. It can be a tremendous advantage, particularly if you are on a fixed income. Rental prices are half the cost than in the U.S. or Europe, and often include furnishings.

How to live 100% off the grid? ›

How to Live off the Grid
  1. 1 Buy land with resources you can use.
  2. 2 Build or buy an off-grid home.
  3. 3 Install a solar power system.
  4. 4 Install a backup power supply.
  5. 5 Drill a well for fresh water.
  6. 6 Put in a septic tank system.
  7. 7 Conserve water with a greywater system.
  8. 8 Learn to grow and preserve your own food.

Is there value in living off the grid? ›

Those looking to save money long term

All-in-all, once you get everything set up, living off the grid is a cheaper way to live. Renewable energy is cost effective, living off the land makes for lower food bills (but takes more maintenance), and living in a less extravagant home can save you a lot of money, too.

Are there off-grid communities in the US? ›

There are many off-the-grid living communities in the United States. These communities have been built to accommodate people who want to live off the grid and have a self-sufficient lifestyle. They have water supply, power sources, and waste management systems.

How do you realistically go off the grid? ›

How to live off the grid: the ultimate guide for beginners (2022)
  1. Find the Right Location.
  2. Build the Smallest Home Possible.
  3. Design for Passive Heating and Cooling.
  4. Install Off Grid Solar Power and Solar Hot Water Systems.
  5. Off Grid Water Systems.
  6. Waste Disposal.
  7. Grow Your Own Food.

How much does it cost to build an off-grid cabin? ›

The cost to build an off-grid cabin will depend on the size of the cabin, the materials used, and the labor and logistics costs incurred to execute the build. A small off grid cabin can cost as little as $1,000 to build, while a large off grid cabin can cost over $300,000.

Why are more people going off-grid? ›

The appeal of off-grid homes has grown in part because utilities have become less reliable. As natural disasters linked to climate change have increased, there have been more extended blackouts in California, Texas, Louisiana and other states.

How many people live completely off the grid? ›

Lighting Global is the World Bank Group's initiative to rapidly increase access to off-grid solar energy for the 840 million people living without electricity world-wide.

What is the cheapest way I can live? ›

13 Cheap Housing Alternatives
  • Renting a Guest House. ...
  • Living in a Mobile Home. ...
  • Moving into a Tiny Home. ...
  • Living in a Shipping Container Home. ...
  • Living as a Live-In Caretaker. ...
  • Being an On-Site Property Manager. ...
  • Renting Out a Room in Your Home. ...
  • Move in with Friends or Family.
Nov 10, 2022

What are the pros and cons of living off the grid? ›

  • LOW UTILITY BILLS. Most significant of all is having little to no utility bill. ...
  • STAY IN CONTROL. Second is that you are independent of the grid. ...
  • SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE. Going off-grid is a kind of eco-friendly living. ...

What town is completely off the grid? ›

Torri Superiore, Italy

The town is entirely off the grid, with all its energy provided by solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric power stations. Residents have no access to running water or gas, but they have private wells and fireplaces for heating their homes.

Can I join an off-grid community? ›

Each off-grid community has its own application process. But there is a basic requirement that prospective residents are a good fit for the community. That means current residents are involved in the decision-making process.

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