North Dakota was the only state to see a double-digit increase in income between 2008 and 2017, but expenses increased by even more, according to a recent study.

The analysis, published by, ranked North Dakota 49th out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in terms of affordability. The only less affordable states were New Hampshire and South Dakota.

Here are some things to know about the study.

Who’s last, at the top?

Residents of North Dakota spend an average of 93.6% of their paychecks on expenses, according to the study. New Hampshire residents spent 94.4%, while in South Dakota, the average resident spent more than they made, at 100.9%.

Washington, D.C. was called most affordable, with spending eating up about 69.8%. Arizona was second at 70.5% and Georgia was third with 73.5%.

Montana was slightly better than North Dakota, with residents spending 93.1% of their income, while Minnesota ranked 37 out of 51 with residents spending 82.7% of their income on expenses.

Expenses outpace income

Ten states saw expenses grow by 10% or more between 2008 and 2017, while North Dakota was the only state that saw a double-digit increase in income. North Dakota’s expenses increased 20.8% in that decade, while income increased 19.07%.

South Dakota’s average expenses went up 15.6%, while Montana saw an increase of 11.1% and Minnesota went up 10.88%.

Income increases in those states were far smaller. South Dakota saw a jump of 8.18%, Montana’s average income went up 7.82% and Minnesota’s went up 3.97%.

Getting less affordable

All four states saw the percentage of income residents spent on expenses go up between 2008 and 2017. North Dakota had an increase of 1.45%, while Montana had an increase of 3.02%.

Minnesota and South Dakota both had far larger increases, at 6.65% and 6.85%, respectively.

Where the money goes

In terms of housing and utilities cost, South Dakota was the seventh least expensive, with an average cost of $5,791.

Three nearby states are among the top 10 in health care spending, however.

South Dakota is fourth overall with an average of $8,989, while North Dakota is seventh at $8,538. Minnesota is ninth

with $8,277. North and South Dakota are back in the top 10 for financial services and insurance, with that category costing $5,112 in South Dakota and $4,125 in North Dakota.

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