Best states for off grid living ( 1-50 Best to Worst )

There are a lot of states in the US that can be considered fairly good for off grid living, however, there are some that stand out. There are people living off the grid in all states, which basically means that you can live off the grid where ever you want. Although there is a massive difference between the states when it comes to living off the grid, some even incentivize people to live off the grid while others make it extremely hard to live off the grid legally.

The best states for off grid living are Texas, Idaho, Missouri, Virginia, Maine, Wyoming, Vermont, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, Arkansas, Alabama, Connecticut, Ohio, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

The worst states for off grid living are Hawaii, California, Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Nevada, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, Utah, Maryland, and South Dakota.

No matter where you want to live off the grid you will most likely harvest rainwater, my personal recommendation is to use a high volume gravity fed water purifier especially if you have a family Click here to check it out on Amazon.com

Through the years a lot of people have asked me which are the off grid living legal states? In short, you can legally live off the grid in all states, currently, there are no laws that make living off the grid illegal. However, in order to live off the grid, you will need a couple of things like the ability to legally harvest rainwater and to be able to generate your own power. In some states harvesting rainwater is illegal, and in others, there are strict restrictions.

You might think that most states will give generous incentives for renewable energy, some states do, but most of them do not have any statewide incentives, on the other hand, there are even some states which make you paying higher taxes if you use renewable energy. Even if the local authorities do not offer any incentives for renewable energy, the federal government does and it is called the Federal Tax Credit.

Some states will offer extremely generous incentives and rebates for renewable energy, for which you can apply in addition to the Federal Tax Credit, combined they could reduce the total cost by up to 50%. If you want to know how much does it cost to live off the grid then check out my recent article How much does it cost to live off the grid? ( $38,095 ).

PS: I have written an in-depth article on each state, so feel free to search around my website

Table of Contents

Best states for off grid living

Generally speaking, most of the states which are good for living off the grid have one thing in common, harvesting rainwater is legal and there are no regulations or restriction. In addition to this most of these states tend to have a low cost of living, low cost of property, and plenty of options when it comes to growing crops.

1. Living off the grid in Texas

Texas is one of the good states for off grid living, the cost of living and the cost of property is fairly low. Although most of the state has a semi-arid climate, Texas doesn’t really have a water shortage at the moment. Texas is also home to several large cities, and in some areas, the population density is fairly high, although as this state is fairly large, you will have no problem finding a suitable area to live off the grid.

2. Living off the grid in Idaho

Idaho is one of the best places for living off the grid, the climate is mild enough for growing crops, and the state doesn’t have any problems with freshwater. The cost of property and housing is somewhat higher than the national average but the cost of living is lower. In addition to this Idaho has a relatively low crime rate when compared to the national average. If you want more information about Idaho then check out my recent article Off grid living in Idaho ( Gem State ).

3. Living off the grid in Missouri

Missouri has a fairly bad education and health care system, on the other hand, the local climate is excellent for growing crops, winters are fairly mild and this state doesn’t have any problems with freshwater. The cost of living is lower than the national average and the cost of housing and property is around 30% lower than the national average, so if you are on a budget then this state will be a great option for living off the grid.

4. Living off the grid in Virginia

Virginia has a couple of problems but it still manages to be a good state for off grid living. The local climate is fairly mild, you have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops, there are no water shortages and the cost of living and housing is somewhat lower than the national average. Generally speaking, states which have such a high population density are not ideal for off grid living, although as long as you keep away from the larger cities you should be fine.

5. Living off the grid in Maine

Maine is a relatively good state for off grid living, although it has a somewhat harsh climate. The cost of living and the cost of property and housing is around the same level as the national average. The best part about living off the grid in this state is that if you want to use renewable energy then the state offers several incentives and rebates which will reduce the cost of the setup significantly.

6. Living off the grid in Wyoming

Wyoming although not the best, but is definitely a good state for living off the grid. The taxes are fairly low, the cost of property and the cost of living are just below the national average and the population density is also low. Wyoming’s climate is semi-arid, which will limit how much rainwater you can harvest during the summertime, although during the wintertime there is plenty of snow. If you want more information about this state then check out my recent article Off grid living in Wyoming ( Cowboy State ).

7. Living off the grid in Vermont

Generally speaking, Vermont is a fairly good state for living off the grid, there are no problems with the water supply, the cost of living is low, and the cost of property and housing are also significantly lower than the national average. On the other hand, this state has a fairly high property tax and the winters tend to be brutal.

8. Living off the grid in Michigan

Most people dismiss Michigan as a good state for living off the grid, the truth is that the cost of living and the cost of property and housing are significantly lower than the national average. This state is also excellent for growing different types of crops. The crime rate is high, but this is mostly inflated due to the biggest cities, areas around the smaller cities have a significantly lower crime rate.

9. Living off the grid in Tennessee

There are a couple of reasons why Tennessee is a good place for living off the grid, the taxes are low, the cost of living and the cost of housing and property is also lower than the national average. Tennessee does have a couple of issues, mainly the significantly higher crime rate than the national average.

10. Living off the grid in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of the best states for living off the grid, although this state does have its problems, just like any other. The main reason why this state is good for living off the grid is due to the low cost of property which is around 45% lower than the national average and the low cost of living which is around 17% lower than the national average.

11. Living off the grid in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has everything that you need for living off the grid, the cost of living and the cost of property are lower than the national average. In addition to this Pennsylvania is ideal for growing crops, and the low crime rate is also a big plus. On the other hand, the local authorities do not offer any incentives for renewable energy on top of the federal tax credit.

12. Living off the grid in West Virginia

If you want to live as frugally as possible off the grid then West Virginia might just be the place for you. This state has a significantly lower cost of living and the price of property and housing are around 60% lower than the national average. One of the main reasons why people tend to stay away from this state is due to the high unemployment rate and the high crime rate, although there are several areas that do not have these problems.

13. Living off the grid in South Carolina

South Carolina is a fairly good place for living off the grid, with plenty of options when it comes to growing crops, low taxes, low cost of living, and low property taxes. As long as you keep far away from areas visited by tourists you should have no problem living off the grid as frugally as possible.

14. Living off the grid in Delaware

Delaware is a very popular destination for people who want to retire. The cost of living and the cost of property are at the national average, although the state has fairly low tax rates, and it doesn’t even have a sales tax. The crime rate and the cost of living can be somewhat higher in some areas, but generally speaking, most of the state is fairly safe and has a low cost of living.

15. Living off the grid in Arkansas

Arkansas has everything you would want from a state when it comes to living off the grid, low cost of living, low cost of property and housing, and plenty of options when it comes to growing crops. In some areas, the unemployment rate and the crime rate tends to be higher, but overall this is still a good state for living off the grid.

16. Living off the grid in Alabama

Alabama offers generous rebates and incentives when it comes to renewable energy, and this on top of the federal tax credit. Alabama is great for growing crops, doesn’t have any problems with freshwater, the climate is mild, the cost of living and the cost of property are significantly lower than the national average. The main problems of this state are the bad education and health care systems, and the generally high crime rate across the state.

17. Living off the grid in Connecticut

Connecticut is neither bad nor good for living off the grid, the cost of living is somewhat higher than the national average and so is the cost of property. The local climate is not ideal for growing crops, although if you set up a greenhouse then you will definitely have an easier time.

18. Living off the grid in Ohio

Ohio is one of the best states for living off the grid, the cost of living is fairly low and the cost of property and housing is around 40% lower than the national average. This state is excellent for growing crops and has plenty of freshwater. The state also offers several incentives and rebates for renewable energy on top of the federal tax credit.

19. Living off the grid in North Dakota

Although North Dakota tends to have some brutal winters, this state is still relatively good for living off the grid. The cost of living and the cost of property are lower than the national average and the state offers several rebates and incentives for renewable energy.

20. Living off the grid in Wisconsin

If you are familiar with the climate in the northern states then you shouldn’t have any problem living off the grid in Wisconsin. The main reason why this is a fairly good state for living off the grid is that the cost of living is low, and the cost of property is also low. Although when it comes to growing crops you will be limited due to the local climate.

21. Living off the grid in Indiana

Indiana is an excellent state for living off the grid, you have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops and the cost of living and the cost of property are significantly lower than the national average. In addition to this, there are several statewide rebates and incentives for renewable energy, although most of them are for solar power systems.

22. Living off the grid in Kansas

Kansas is one of the good states for living off the grid, you have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops, the cost of living is around 17% lower and the cost of property and housing is around 40% lower than the national average. In fact, this state also offers a lot of free lands, as long as you are willing to build a house, for more information check out my recent article ( Top 25 ) Places to live off the grid for free.

23. Living off the grid in North Carolina

A lot of people might think that North Carolina is not a good state for living off the grid mostly due to natural disasters, the truth is that these are not that frequent. This state has a low cost of living and low cost of property when you compare it to the national average. In addition to this, you have plenty of options for growing crops and the state has plenty of both groundwater and surface water.

24. Living off the grid in Iowa

Iowa is one of the best states for living off the grid, you have the possibility to grow different types of crops, the cost of living and the cost of property are also significantly lower than the national average. Basically, this state has everything that you would want from an off grid living perspective, and you can also do it as frugally as possible.

25. Living off the grid in Nebraska

Nebraska is fairly similar to Kansas when it comes to living off the grid, the land is ideal for growing different types of crops, there is plenty of fresh water, and the cost of living and the cost of housing is lower than the national average.

26. Living off the grid in Minnesota

Minnesota is one of those states which are neither good nor bad for living off the grid, you have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops, no problems when it comes to freshwater and the cost of living and property are around the national average.

27. Living off the grid in Kentucky

Kentucky is fairly good for living off the grid, plenty of lands suitable for growing crops, and the cost of living and the cost of property are lower than the national average. Although this state has plenty of fresh water, but due to the local animal farms, some of the groundwater is contaminated with runoff from the farms.

28. Living off the grid in Mississippi

Mississippi has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, but it might just be ideal for living off the grid if you want to do it as cheaply as you can. The cost of living and the cost of property is well below the national average, in addition to this, the local climate is fairly mild and ideal for growing crops.

29. Living off the grid in Louisiana

Louisiana is an excellent place to live off the grid, it has everything that you need to live off the grid comfortably, including a fairly mild climate, plenty of options for growing crops, and plenty of fresh water. In addition to this, the state also gives several generous incentives if you generate power with solar panels.

Worst states for off grid living

Generally speaking, the worst states for off grid living tend to have a high population density, high cost of living, high taxes, and high cost of property. Some of these states are on this list due to the local climate which is not ideal for growing crops. While others are here because there are restrictions and regulations for harvesting rainwater, have a high crime rate, and some are even considered fairly dangerous for living off the grid, like in Alaska.

30. Living off the grid in South Dakota

South Dakota is not ideal for living off the grid, this is mostly due to the high taxes, and the harsh climate. You will be somewhat limited on what kind of crops you can grow in this state, and you most likely will have to set up a greenhouse.

31. Living off the grid in Maryland

Maryland has one of the highest taxes and the highest cost of living in the country. In addition to this, the population density is fairly high and the cost of property is also higher than the national average.

32. Living off the grid in Utah

Utah is not ideal for living off the grid, the state has some problems with fresh water and there are some restrictions when it comes to harvesting rainwater. When it comes to growing crops there are some areas that are fairly good for growing crops but most of the state is not ideal.

33. Living off the grid in Rhode Island

There are several reasons why Rhode Island isn’t a good state for living off the grid, the cost of living and the cost of property is significantly higher than the national average. In addition to this most of the taxes in this state are higher than the national average.

34. Living off the grid in Illinois

Illinois is a fairly bad state for living off the grid, the main reasons are that the cost of living and the cost of property and housing are significantly higher than the national average. In addition to this, the local climate is not the best for growing crops.

35. Living off the grid in New Jersey

New Jersey is not ideal for living off the grid, the cost of living is one of the highest in the country and the cost of property and housing are around 40% higher than the national average. Groundwater is fairly plentiful in this state but due to the local heavy industries, a lot of it is contaminated.

36. Living off the grid in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts has a lot of problems when it comes to living off the grid, the cost of living is high and the cost of property is around 70% higher. Generally speaking most of the taxes in this state are higher than the national average.

37. Living off the grid in Georgia

Georgia is somewhere between good and bad off grid states, at first glance, this is an ideal place, with plenty of fertile lands, low cost of living, and low cost of property. The main problem with Georgia is the minimum wage which is only at $5.15. Although the state has plenty of freshwater, but the problem is that a significant portion of the groundwater is contaminated.

38. Living off the grid in Nevada

Nevada is one of the worst states for off grid living, there are few areas where you can grow crops, the cost of living and the cost of property and housing are significantly higher than the national average. On top of that, it is actually illegal to harvest rainwater in Nevada, and groundwater is not available in most areas, so you will probably have to buy most of your water, which is not ideal, to say the least.

39. Living off the grid in Washington

At first glance, Washington seems like an ideal place for living off the grid, with plenty of nature, and a lot of options when it comes to growing crops. The main reasons why this isn’t a good state for living off the grid are the price of property and housing, which are around 64% higher than the national average. If you have a fairly high budget then you should have no problems living off the grid in this state, but if you want to spend as little money as possible then you should pick another state.

40. Living off the grid in New York

New York is one of the worst states for living off the grid, taxes are high, the price of property and housing are one of the highest in the country, and the local climate is not the best when it comes to growing crops and generating power with solar panels. This state has also one of the highest population densities in the country, which is not ideal for living off the grid.

41. Living off the grid in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is not good for off grid living, the cost of property and the cost of living are significantly higher than the national average. In addition to this New Hampshire has one of the highest property taxes in the country, it is almost like you would buy a house and still pay for the rent.

42. Living off the grid in Montana

Montana has a fairly low population density with a lot of untouched wilderness, the problem with this state is the local climate, especially during the wintertime as the winter can last fairly long and are extremely cold. The cost of living is around the same level as the national average, you can still live off the grid in this state although it will be hard work.

43. Living off the grid in Florida

At first glance this might seem as an excellent state, the climate is fairly hot and you have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops. The problem with Florida is that it is getting around 130 million tourists every year, although there are a couple of places which are not that popular amongst the tourists but the number of these places is going down every year.

44. Living off the grid in Colorado

A lot of people think that harvesting rainwater in Colorado is illegal, it used to be a couple of years ago, currently, there are some restrictions for harvesting rainwater but this is not what makes this state one of the worst states for living off the grid. This state has one of the highest costs of living and costs of property in the country, which will make it extremely difficult to live as frugally as possible.

45. Living off the grid in Oregon

A lot of people think that Oregon is a great place for living off the grid, the truth is that it is far from it. The cost of property and the cost of living is significantly higher than the national average. These will only get worse with time as more and more people move to this state from California. A decade or two ago this state would have been one of the best states for living off the grid, but today, in my opinion, it is way too expensive.

46. Living off the grid in Arizona

The main reason why Arizona is not a good state for off grid living is the lack of freshwater. The main source of water for the entire state comes from the Colorado River, and due to the increased demand and the current drought, Arizona’s water supply is at a breaking point. Currently, there are no restrictions when it comes to water, but there will be at least some restrictions in the near future.

47. Living off the grid in New Mexico

The main reason why New Mexico is not good for off grid living is that there is a massive shortage when it comes to freshwater, and if global warming continues like in the previous years then this state will be in a lot of trouble. There are some areas that have no problem with freshwater, although these are far and few between. You won’t be able to rely on harvesting rainwater as the average yearly rainfall is extremely low.

48. Living off the grid in Alaska

A lot of people think that Alaska is the best state in the country for off grid living, mostly because of the low population density and the wilderness of the state. The truth is that Alaska is only good for some people when it comes to off grid living, the climate is not ideal for growing crops, generating power during the wintertime is extremely difficult, most of the summertime you are preparing for the winter and it is probably one of the most dangerous states in the country for off grid living.

49. Living off the grid in California

This is as bad as it can get, there are several reasons why California is one of the worst for off grid living, like the high cost of living, high cost of property, high taxes, high crime rate, and the frequent water restrictions. Only a couple of years ago harvesting rainwater was actually illegal in this state, California has a massive water shortage and it is predicted to get only worse. The truth is that you will be probably better off living off the grid anywhere but California.

50. Living off the grid in Hawaii

If I would make a list of the worst states for off grid living then Hawaii will be on top of the list. Don’t get me wrong, this state is a paradise, but the cost of property is one of the highest in the country, the cost of living is also extremely high as everything has to be either shipped or flown in. In addition to this, there is an active volcano in the area, which is not ideal, to say the least.

In conclusion

There are plenty of states which are ideal for living off the grid, just keep in mind that it is legal to live off the grid in every state. As you can see there are more states which are not ideal for living off the grid, although this doesn’t mean that you can not live off the grid in these areas, it simply means that living off the grid in these areas will either cost you a lot more or be extremely difficult.