With social-distancing rules in force, there’s no better time to isolate oneself by living off the grid completely. But a self-reliant lifestyle isn’t possible everywhere in America.
That’s why America’s leading outdoor services provider, LawnStarter, looked at the data to find 2021’s Best States for Living Off the Grid.
We compared the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia across 20 critical factors of off-grid feasibility, infrastructure, climate, cost and safety. Our data set ranges from the average per-acre cost of farmland to legality of rainwater harvesting to average monthly temperature.
See the results below, followed by key takeaways from our report that’s packed with data, expert insights and an infographic.
The 5 Best States for Off-Grid Living
4. South Carolina
5. North Dakota
The 5 Worst States for Off-Grid Living
48. New Jersey
51. District of Columbia
Highlights and Lowlights:
- Stuck in the Middle: Many of our best-ranked states hail from the same latitude, roughly the Mid-South. Kentucky, our top state, ranked well across all categories. States like South Carolina boast cheap cost of living and a climate with relatively few extremely cold or hot days, all of which make independent living more of a breeze.
- These Lakes Are Great: Quite a few states in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region find their way to the top of our list. States such as Minnesota scored high in infrastructure categories such as road quality and potential for wind power. Many of these states also have laws that promote off-grid living. While the Upper Midwest isn’t without it’s colder weather, it’s much easier to heat and insulate an off-grid home than to cool one down.
- Land Isn’t Everything: A group of large rural states sits at the bottom of our rankings. This may come as a surprise but not when the full off-the-grid picture is considered. Although Alaska has plenty of out-of-the-way places to build your cabin, it also has worse infrastructure and a more extreme climate, which increases costs. Plus, states with a history of off-the-grid residents — such as Nevada — tend to have more laws governing their practices.
Our full ranking and analysis can be found here.