The Best Place To Live In The United States? Here Are 9 Maps To Consider

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United States Fun Map - Public DomainIf you could live anywhere in America during the tumultuous years ahead, where would it be?  This is a topic that is hotly debated, and the truth is that there is not a single right answer.  If you have a very strong family support system where you are, it might not be right to try to move 2000 miles away and start a new life from scratch.  And for many Americans, moving is out of the question in the short-term because they are completely and totally dependent on employment in their local areas.  But in recent years we have seen an increasing number of Americans strategically relocate to another region of the country.  They can see our society breaking down and they can see the storm clouds on the horizon and they want to do what they can to prepare themselves and their families for what is ahead.  So is there a “best place to live” in the United States?  Are there some areas that are preferable to others?  The following are 9 maps to consider…


#1 Population Density

When the U.S. economy crashes and civil unrest starts erupting in our cities, ideally you will want to be living in an area with low population density.  In other words, the fewer people around the better.  The map below represents population density with a series of yellow dots.  As you can see, the west coast and the eastern half of the nation are generally very crowded.  So if you are looking for an area with lots of “breathing room”, the area between the Mississippi River and the west coast is a good place to look.

Population Density - Moonshadow Mobile

#2 Average Precipitation

Unfortunately, the western half of the nation is also generally very dry.  So if you are planning to grow your own food during a time of economic and social turmoil, that is something to keep in mind.  There are a few areas between the Mississippi River and the west coast that do get plenty of rainfall (northern Idaho for example), but those areas are few and far between.

Average Precipitation United States - Public Domain

#3 Drought

The latest national map from the U.S. Drought Monitor is the next map that I have shared.  The multi-year drought in the state of California is already the worst drought in the recorded history of the state, and many scientists believe that it could stretch on for many more years.  But it isn’t just California that has been suffering.  There are other areas in the Southwest that are starting to resemble the Dust Bowl days as well.  So obviously these areas are not ideal if you plan to be self-sufficient and grow much of your own food during a time of great crisis.

March 17 2015 US Drought Monitor

#4 Average Snowfall

If you don’t like cold and snow, you will want to avoid the colored areas on this next map.  And if you do plan to live in an area that gets plenty of cold and snow, you will want to have a solid plan for heating your home if the electrical grid goes down and is not available for an extended period of time.

Average Annual Snowfall

#5 Average Homicides

In the years ahead, crime in the United States is likely to rise dramatically.  If you are looking for somewhere safe, the areas that have relatively low crime rates right now will probably be better than areas that have relatively high crime rates right now.  In general, rates of violent crime are higher in our major cities and in the Southeast.

Homicides Per 100,000 Population - Photo by Delphi234

#6 Taxes

For a lot of people, tax rates are extremely important when choosing a place to live.  This next map shows the states where the state income tax rate is zero.  But please keep in mind that there are other reasons why some of these states may be undesirable during an emergency situation.

No Income Tax - Photo by Lokal_Profil

#7 Nuclear Power Plants

We have all seen what a single nuclear power plant disaster can do in Japan.  Well, in a future disaster scenario, we could potentially be facing multiple “Fukushimas” all at once here in the United States.  The map below shows where nuclear reactors are located throughout America.  You might want to think twice before moving in right next door to one.

Nuclear Power Plants - Public Domain

#8 Tornadoes

A single giant tornado can absolutely shred the best laid plans of any family.  There are some that feel completely and totally comfortable living right in the heart of “Tornado Alley”, and there are others that very much would like to avoid any area that is at high risk for tornadoes.  As you can see from the map below, the highest risk areas are generally in the Southeast part of the nation.

Tornado Watches Per Year - Public Domain

Of course tornadoes are far from the only natural disaster to consider when choosing a place to live.  For much more on all of this, check out these articles…

-“The New Madrid Earthquake That Will Divide The United States In Half

-“East Coast Tsunami: If It Happens, MILLIONS Of Americans Could Die

-“Why The Earthquake Near San Francisco Is Just The Start Of The Shaking In California

-“Yellowstone Supervolcano Alert: The Most Dangerous Volcano In America Is Roaring To Life

#9 Politics

For many Americans, moving to a politically-compatible area of the country is extremely important.  The map below uses red and blue to represent the average margin of victory in recent presidential elections.  The states that are very red voted very heavily for Republican candidates.  The states that are very blue voted very heavily for Democratic candidates.  The states that are purple were in the middle.  But it is important to remember that there are areas within each state that tend to be more conservative or liberal than the state overall.

Presidential Victory Margins - Photo by Ninjatacoshell

I noted more thoughts for each individual state in my previous article entitled “What Is The Best Place To Live In America? Pros And Cons For All 50 States“.  But wherever you go, the truth is that no place is going to be perfect.  The following is how Joel Skousen, the author of “Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places“, put it in one of his recent articles

The more rural you are, the higher the cost of building, maintaining equipment and commuting to civilization—and, the higher your expenses for services including utilities, alternate energy and internet connectivity.  The more your priorities emphasize closeness to a community, the higher your risks will be during a social meltdown, and the more precise must be your preparations to bug out to a separate retreat. So, as you see, there are always compromises in life, no matter if you spend $50,000 on your property or millions, there is no perfect property that will meet all your criteria. Focus on what’s most important for you, your family and/or group.

That was very well said.

No matter what other people are doing, you have to make the choices that are right for you and your family.

So what is your perspective on all of this?

What do you think is the best place to live in the United States?

Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…

  • DJohn1

    One of the things to consider is what is the tax situation?
    Ohio has an income tax as do many other states.
    Florida does not. Or didn’t last I checked a few years ago.
    Our town even has an income tax.
    How close to a military installation are you?
    In the coming economic disaster the military might be the only ones with a certain amount of stability. And they may need help. Which means 3 meals, health care, and other possibilities.
    The Democratic states all have a problem with picking people’s pockets with higher taxes.
    Why we vote Democrat when they are raising taxes one way or another is beyond me.
    Yet people do.
    Not that I have faith in the opposition right now . . .
    I am assuming that most people out there are living pretty much hand to mouth anyway.
    I suggest that everyone needs to have a small but reliable way to have food on the table if things go bad.
    What can possibly go bad? Well there may not be any utilities if things get really bad. So keep the freezer stocked but don’t invest a whole lot in a freezer.
    Canned goods have the best shelf life. But they need to be rotated out. That means use the oldest first.
    Vegetable gardens in the spring and summer are good. But remember that a certain amount of plants will be insect bound. The animals and insects do get a few of them each season.
    Canning is good.
    I suggest if you are on pensions that you take the cash money out a month at a time and put it in envelopes. Bank closures only effect people without money on hand. Finding a safe storage place is tricky. But the formula is there are thirteen weeks in any 3 month period. That means you have to have a way of accounting for that extra week or you will find yourself broke.
    You date the envelopes by the week and only spend that amount per week. Budget is king! That means you have to budget for grocery, gas, auto insurance, house payments or apartment, and taxes if necessary.
    Typically an apartment or house should cost you no more than 1/3 of your monthly income. The car is similar. It can be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of your income depending on what you can live with.
    If the whole economy goes bad, nothing you can do will help long term. But those that have things in reserve will last longer. By then, the government will have figured out something. Most likely those that have will get it stolen from them to feed those that do not.

  • Best places i can think of to add to this article are Montana &
    Idaho. Anywhere near the Canadian border in those 2 states too.

    Look up these 3 spots to relocate:

    Whitefish, MT, Great Falls, MT, Sandpoint, Idaho,

    • erik-da-red

      Couer D’Alene

    • JK86

      shhhhhhh don’t give away the best place to live.

  • K

    Map 6 is a little off. No income tax in TN, either. When I was still looking. Water was the most important factor. Followed, by some level of remoteness. Also only one road into the area, and a great abundance of wild game also helped close the deal. So N.E. TN for me. I am just too old, to deal with those snow levels in Montana.

    • Yippieyay

      Tennessee will eat you up in taxes. I lived my teen years near Blountville and they would tax you to the point where I would drive to Bristol va to shop. Tn even charges a wheel tax on top of ordinary property tax. I’m not sure what part your from but if your anywhere near Johnson city than your not too safe. Before we moved to Tennessee I lived near Washington DC and I truly believe Johnson city is just as bad as DC. Good luck

      • K

        Yes the sales tax is high. But with no income tax, and fairly low property tax. It balances out. The wheel tax is a County option. There is none in my County. I live fairly high up in the mountains, I honestly do not think Johnson City, is as bad as D.C. But then, I only go into it, once or twice a year.

  • Yippieyay

    A chart has southwest va under dry conditions but the ground is so soaked I tried to plant a tree last week and the hole would fill up with muddy water where the ground is soaked. It is wetter here than I have ever seen it in my life.

  • Worried

    Could you add a nuclear strike map in case we do end up at war with Russia?

  • Robert

    Seems to me you have to live where you can own guns which lets out many places. If a collapse occurs, most will die in a few weeks and the rest will have no energy for much of anything. Personally I would never live where winters are long and harsh. Too hard to keep warm especially the older you are. My preference is near a swamp with fish and gators that can be trapped. Your ammo will not last forever plus gunfire attracts attention. Most are afraid of swamps due to snakes but that is a good thing. Mountains are too difficult to traverse and the game there is too hard to get at. I have read Skousen’s book and it is pretty good stuff but each has to come up with their own plan based on age, health and wealth. Most important, you have to be prepared to kill and like it or not that is the toughest thing to overcome. Talk is cheap and there is no shortage of bravado.

    • K

      I also considered the swamps. But the historic reason to avoid swamps. Was not gators or snakes, it was illness. Mosquito born illness, like yellow fever west nile, and many others. Yes the Mountains can be difficult during the Winter. But that helps keep people out of them. Consider carefully how safe the swamp will be, when medicine is not easy to find. Also unless you can move there way ahead of time. The locals will consider you an outsider. Not good at all.

      • Robert

        I lived for awhile in the Blue Ridge and there was no shortage of mosquitoes, chiggers, copperheads etc. to each his own though.
        I grew up around swamp so that is what I am used to. Fish/turtle traps are simple devices. Unless u are really good with a bow or even a rifle, you could be in trouble. Traps are more to my taste as well as fishing. You are correct on medical issues. I keep all my immunizations up to date and I maintain antibiotics as best I can. No matter how careful u are something will happen requiring medical attention. Hence the need for folk medicine. Fascinating subject. There are few Jeremiah Johnson’s. A group effort of like minded people is preferred.

        • K

          Understood, as you say, to each their own. Best of luck, in the coming days.

          • Robert

            And to u.

    • DJohn1

      People that live near swamps are the same people that will own a kit that remakes bullets. In today’s world I think that ammunition will likely be made with a 3-d printer. The real question is getting a quality of plastic that will hold together long enough to fire through the gun without backfiring and hurting someone in the process. 3-D printers currently take about 30 minutes to an hour to produce an object like a shell and a bullet though I would use the used shells to make the new bullet.
      That means some temperature control.
      The stability of the plastic is temperature sensitive.
      Simpler would be to put together a reloadable crossbow. Crossbows are fairly reliable these days, especially ones with the compound element of wheels. Making bolts for one should be very simple. Even a no. 2 lead pencil can be converted easily into a bolt. 3 plastic feathers or real ones glued on one end and a pencil sharpener on the other to make the point.
      Pistol crossbows are normally about 75 power. A rifle compound is normally about 150-300 power which at short range makes it capable of going through most body armor and it makes almost no noise. There is the problem of accuracy . . .
      I maintain with computers available and lasers used on jigsaws that is not really that much of a problem.
      We are not talking about weapons so much as tools for survival here. None of the weapons are capable of standing against a bunch of idiots with high powered weapons.
      I call them idiots because when they go against the public itself they will be overwhelmed one way or another. Not by weapons so much as by public response to their crimes.

    • Jessica Knorr

      Florida is just as you described. At least around where I live. A ways away from the nearest city.

    • Abbadon

      Aren’t you worried about skunk apes?

  • DJohn1

    What is the key color code on the top map?

    • sandbagger

      It’s the 31-Flavors Key Code. ;)

  • George_Costanza

    Nampa, Idaho perhaps.

  • sandbagger

    A person would want to consider the density of people on EBT cards. If you look on the web you can find a map that shows per state the percentage of those on the government program. I wouldn’t want to live in a state that has a high amount of people dependent upon that card when the money is no longer there.

    • GetReal4U2

      good point…the liberal areas on both coast lines are going to be trouble…

      • mary09462


  • JK86

    Map #6 should be changed to overall tax burden. In the state of Washington If you own a business or self employed you get the joy of paying B&O tax. Even worse than an income tax because it is based on the gross receipts.

    • Jessica Knorr

      what exactly is a b&o tax?

      • JK86

        Business & Occupation Tax. I believe it is around 0.4% of total gross income, plus they tack on other rates depending on where you live. So don’t believe Washington doesn’t have an income tax for businesses, because they do.

        • Jessica Knorr

          wow. I didnt know that. My niece and her family live in Washington. I live in Florida and aside from the fact the state relies on tourism so heavily its not so bad here. At least we dont have a state income tax and a relatively low sales tax too.

  • GetReal4U2

    Oklahoma is the best place for me!

    • Joseph Evans

      Me too!

      • GetReal4U2


  • Conniption Fitz

    Where have all those millions of Obama’s Dreamers (Hispanics and Muslims) been shipped?

  • creeper

    I’m in Iowa and, with the exception if it being a little purple, I’m evidently already there.

  • TruPatriot

    NH also doesn’t have a state income tax or sales tax

  • GetReal4U2

    Texas or Tennessee?

  • NOmarkofbeast

    Keep in mind we will have already been converted to a cashless society. Therefore if you do have the mark of the beast (microchip ?) you will not be able to buy anything. There will be NO services available to you. (medical, no self-employment) our reliance can only be on God. Self-reliance will only take you so far. The government will be stripping all land/home owners of their land. I read an article that states the government will be telling us where to live, telling us where to work, our children will be turned over to the state and they will raise them as they choose. They intend to destroy 95% of the population. The only people who will remain are the top tiers of the elite and the poorest of poor. (The poor will be the slaves of the elite).
    With all that being said, does it really matter where we live?

    • Holger Jahndel

      You can avoid teh New World Order…by living as a self sustaining farmer in a rural area…like the Amish!
      Ever considered of becoming an Amish?
      Or maybe a Mormon in Utah?
      There are also Catholic communities!
      And Hippie Communities in Canada…!
      Go North?

  • Whitehall

    You want electricity too? The nuclear power plants can run for a long time before requiring refueling – 2 years typically.

  • tmg415

    There is another consideration, your faith. There is a spiritual element to all of this and we can’t ignore it. I moved from central New York 17 years ago and found a surprisingly resilient faith community in West Michigan. I’m sure there are pockets everywhere. There has been a lot of prophetic word given on this subject that shouldn’t be overlooked either. This will be similar to Noah’s arc but without a world flood. There will be earthquakes, war, famine, Tsunamis, economic upheaval, comets, etc. Man can’t survive without God.

  • Joe Woolf

    If I didn’t have to worry much about work, I’d live in Utah….. since I do, I live just barely in commute range to DFW but, I have a small farm outside of city limits and, I sight in rifles from my back deck and raise animals and have a garden in my spare time. lol

    Doesn’t matter where you live out of town as long as you are within one tank of gas from a metro area… at least in my opinion…..

    I’m not safe even though I’m 8mi from a gas station with gates and fences on a road with no outlet.