Report: Iowa is the cheapest state to live in for clean air

Factors include pollution levels, breathing conditions and home prices

Iowa residents are paying the least for access to clean air, according to a report from modular “cleanroom” manufacturer Mecart.

The Mecart study assessed multiple factors related to air quality such as air pollution levels, breathing related health conditions, and compared that with the state’s average home price.

The states received a score out of ten for each factor based on the best conditions, with air pollution and house prices scores weighing double that of breathing-related health conditions.

Iowa tops the list with the second cheapest housing prices in America, with the average price coming to $275,934. The state ranks in the top half for all breathing problems, with air pollution levels averaging to 7.5 micrograms per cubic meter. Asthma rate is the third lowest, with 7.9% of the population suffering with the condition. Thus, the report concluded that Iowa offers the highest quality of air for the lowest cost.

North Dakota has the overall second cheapest access to clean air, with the third lowest air pollution levels (4.7 micrograms per cubic meter) and the fourth cheapest housing prices in America, averaging $301,181. However, the state ranks highly when it comes to breathing conditions, with 8.2% of the population suffering with asthma and 4.9% suffering with COPD. For context, 8% of the total American population suffer with asthma, and 6.6% suffer with COPD.

New York is revealed as the most expensive state to live in for clean air. New York is the second most expensive state to live in, with California in first. New Yorkers home prices average $1,347,205, and California residents average $1,535,082. Air pollution levels are reported at 6.6 micrograms per cubic meter in New York; however, asthma rate is within the top 15 states, at 10.1% of the population suffering.

The second most expensive state for clean air is Connecticut. House prices in Connecticut are ranked in the top ten of the most expensive out of all the areas, averaging at $1,060,585, as well as the collection of breathing problems ranking in the bottom half of all states.

The District of Columbia, although not technically a federal state, was found to have the highest levels of air pollution in America, at 10.3 micrograms per cubic meter.

“Air pollution is a pressing matter in today’s society,” a Mecart spokesperson said. “Not only does it affect the environment, but it also greatly impacts the population and way of life. A plethora of health problems related to increases in air pollution have had a major impact on people’s lives, so this study provides a useful insight into which states offer clean air at a cheap rate.”


State Clean air value for money rank
Iowa 1
North Dakota 2
West Virginia 3
Kansas 4
Ohio 5
Nebraska 6
South Dakota 7
Indiana 8
Mississippi 9
Wisconsin 10
Missouri 11
Oklahoma 12
Minnesota 13
Arkansas 14
Kentucky 15
Michigan 16
Illinois 17
Pennsylvania 18
Alaska 19
Louisiana 20
Alabama 21
Texas 22
New Mexico 23
Delaware 24
Maryland 25
Maine 26
Vermont 27
North Carolina 28
Virginia 29
Georgia 30
South Carolina 31
New Hampshire 32
Tennessee 33
New Jersey 34
Arizona 35
Nevada 36
Washington 37
Oregon 38
Rhode Island 39
Utah 40
Wyoming 41
Idaho 42
District of Columbia* 43
Florida 44
Colorado 45
Hawaii 46
Montana 47
California 48
Massachusetts 49
Connecticut 50
New York 51

*Not a federal state.

1 = cheapest access to clean air, 51 = most expensive.