Want to escape the hustle and bustle that is urban living? Living off grid. While not for everyone, is a rewarding experience. But, with so many options to choose from, finding the best states for living off the grid is a major task.
Several factors have to be considered when determining how suitable a location is for off grid living. To help you find the best options, I did research on all 50 states based on 9 key factors.
Using these criteria allowed me to come up with ten solid options that are the best for living off grid. The top 10 states came out with the best scores in the categories below.
Table of Contents
Criteria Used to Select the Best States for Off Grid Living?
Availability of water is one of the most important factors to consider. After all, water is life. Living off the grid means you won’t be connected to regular water lines. So, you’ll need to find a location with a water supply that is easily accessible.
Locations close to a lake, river, creek or other water sources is ideal. The average rainfall in the area is also important.
Cost of Living
Although being self sufficient is the ultimate goal for living off the grid. Even if your plan is to produce your own food. There are some things that won’t be available on your homestead. So, you will have to purchase some items from time to time
With this in mind, it is important to find a location with a low of cost of living and shopping areas nearby.
Choosing a location with other like minded individuals is another very important factor.
Having neighbors who are of the same mindset, means you’ll have persons to turn to if you need help. People who can help to teach you the ropes of off grid life.
You’ll also be able to make new friends easier and have a network to barter goods or services if needs be. Plus, you’ll be able to gain important knowledge about the area.
Weather and Climate
Weather and climate are important considerations. Especially if you plan to have a homestead or plan on using wind power or solar energy to power your house.
Plus, you want to settle in a place that has a lot of natural resources and isn’t prone to natural disasters.
The more affordable the land prices, the more money you’ll have left to spend on other important stuff. Things like setting up infrastructure and buying equipment for farming.
The area you choose to settle in should have a steady supply of renewable energy. Whether this be solar or wind power. So, depending on the energy source. There should be enough sunshine for solar panels or enough wind to power wind turbines in the area.
Recommended Reading: Best Solar Generator for Refrigerator (Top 6 + Buyers Guide)
Off Grid Friendly Laws and Regulations
Without off grid friendly regulations, none of the other factors even matter.
You could find a location with the best weather and most fertile land. But, it’s no good if the state’s laws don’t allow off grid living. A great state to live off grid should have:
- Off grid friendly building codes
- Laws that allow you to disconnect from the electrical grid and sewerage system
- Regulations that allow for rain harvesting
- Laws that allow you to use renewable power sources
Property tax is something that you’ll be paying for as long as you live at the location. Over time this can add up. So, finding a piece of land in an area with a low property tax is ideal.
Larger lots in rural areas tend to have cheaper taxes, as they are deemed as agricultural. While smaller lots are categorized as residential, which come with heftier taxes.
Quality of Land
Growing your own food is a vital component of the off grid lifestyle. It is important that the land you buy is suitable for agriculture.
It’s also very important that the land is rich in natural resources, especially water.
You don’t want to buy land in a desert or swamp area or that is devoid of essential natural raw materials.
10 Best States to Live Off Grid + Where to Live Off The Grid In Each State
Knowing which states are best for living off the grid is only half the battle. The next hurdle you have to climb is finding the best areas within these states to live. So, in addition to providing information on the best states I compiled a list of the most suitable counties in each state.
Here is list of the 10 best states and the top 3 counties in each state to set up an off grid homestead.
With vast amounts of habitable farming land, an abundance of renewable energy and natural resources, Texas is our choice for the best state for off grid living.
The state has large acreages of farming land. Which provide great opportunities to build off-grid gardens for self-sufficient living. The land in Texas is very affordable, particularly, in remote areas. Most areas in Texas also have a very long growing season.
There are plenty of natural resources and hunting and fishing opportunities abound. Texas is an excellent location for off-grid energy users. It is blessed with both renewable solar and wind sources that can provide power for living off grid.
Another big plus, is the lack of building codes in many Texan counties. Which allows for more flexibility for the building of off-grid homesteads.
Best Places to Live Off Grid in Texas
Red River is blessed with favorable weather conditions, with plenty of rainfall and sunshine. The area is perfect for anyone looking for a place to live where they can start an off grid garden.
The county also has a very low population density, with only 13,000 people within its 1050 square miles. The living costs are also low with plenty of cheap agricultural land available.
Located in eastern Texas, Sabine, has a climate like that of Louisiana. Making it ideal for growing vegetables and other crops. The area is home to many off gridders. So, if you’re looking to purchase an already established homestead, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Brewster consists of mostly arid to semi-arid land. So, it’s not the best for growing crops. But, if you’re on a tight budget, then Brewster may be the best option for you. As the land costs are very cheap.
The area also has a very low population density with only 10,000 people living on 6,193 square miles.
If you’re interested in moving to Brewster, you should check out the district of Terlingua. It is home to many off gridders. There are no building codes. Making it a great option for the off grid lifestyle.
Tennessee is a great option for persons who want to live the off grid lifestyle, but are on a budget. It has one of the lowest cost of living of all states.
Low land prices, taxes and living costs are a mainstay of the state. Especially in the rural areas, where it is more suitable for off gridders.
The state’s laws are some of the least strict for living off grid in the nation. Rain water harvesting is legal and regulations for raising farm animals are lenient. Several counties in Tennessee are free of building codes.
Although, Tennessee has four distinct seasons, the weather is mild year round. There is also plenty of rainfall, the state has the 6th highest amount of rainfall among all states.
The state has a 260 day growing season with plenty of opportunities for hunting and fishing. So, having a self sufficient food supply won’t be a problem.
Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Tennessee
Located in the south of the state, Franklin has all the resources that off gridders need. It has a relatively low population density in comparison to the rest of Tennessee. It also has comparatively lower property prices than that of the state average.
Franklin is an agricultural area with mainly flat land, rich soil, and mild weather. So, its great place to live if you intend to grow food. The living costs are around the state average.
Marion lies in the southeastern corner of Tennessee, bordered by Alabama and Georgia on its eastern edge. It is a small rural community with plenty of natural resources, including water and land. The county has a population of roughly 29,000 people living on 500 square miles.
It’s known for its booming agricultural industry and its temperate climate. Which allows residents to grow almost any type of food they would like to eat on their property.
Marion is a great option for off gridders on a budget. Land costs and cost of living are some of the lowest in the state.
Perry is a beautiful place to live. It is home to some of the best farmland in the state The climate is mild in the winter and hot in the summer. The weather is great for growing crops and raising livestock.
It has a population of just over 8,000 people and covers an area of 415 square miles.
Perry not only has great weather but it’s also economically viable and affordable compared to other areas of Tennessee. It costs less money to live in this area than it does in other parts of the state.
Off Grid Cabin in TN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYe7BoGkREA
Missouri makes the list because of it’s very off grid friendly laws and regulations. It is legal to live off grid in Missouri. Not only is it completely legal. Missouri actually encourages the off grid lifestyle and its laws support self-reliance.
The collection of rain water is allowed and septic tanks and wells are not a requirement.
Missouri has a very favorable climate for growing food and rearing animals. With a mild winter and very hot and sunny summers. There is also plenty of arable land and good rainfall year round.
Natural resources for building houses and other structures are readily accessible in Missouri.
Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Missouri
Lewis is located in the northern part of the state and has a mild climate and low population density. In fact the population is decreasing every year. So, both the demand for land and prices of land are relatively low.
If you’re looking for renewable resources, Lewis has plenty of wind power thanks to its location on the edge of the Ozark Plateau. It also has some good solar potential because it’s sunny there most of the year.
There are no local taxes on real estate or personal property in Lewis. The cost of living is low, so if you’re looking for a place where your money goes further, this may be it!
Texas County is a great lovation for persons looking to live the off grid life. The weather is mild and stable, with only three months of extreme heat. There is plenty of land available, and the property tax is low.
There are plenty of renewable resources including solar, wind and hydro power. As well as natural resources such as trees for building materials and firewood.
The weather is mild compared to most places in Missouri. There is also a thriving agribusiness industry. This makes it an ideal place to start a business if you’re interested in living off the grid and farming.
Howell is located in northwest Missouri. It is a rural area with a population of about 40,000 people. The county has rolling hills and limestone outcrops that provide ample opportunities for wind and solar power.
If you decide to settle in Howell, you’ll enjoy an affordable cost of living, with a property tax that is among the lowest in the state.
The climate is milder than other parts of Missouri. Which means that temperatures stay fairly steady throughout the year. It’s also perfect for growing fruits and vegetables. Which means that you’ll be able to have a reliable supply of food.
When it comes to the off grid lifestyle Alabama is one of the best states to live in. It scores very well for freedom of life. The state’s laws are very favorable to off grid living.
Several counties don’t have any building codes. You can collect rainwater without any restrictions.
Alabama’s living costs are very affordable. The state’s land prices and property taxes are among the cheapest in the nation.
The land in Alabama is widely cultivated. Making it ideal for those who plan on living off the land.
Best Places for Living Off The Grid in Alabama
Blount is a great place to live if you’re looking for a rural, off-grid lifestyle. It has a population of over 20,000 people and covers an area of 681 square miles. Blount is perfect for off gridders who want to be close to the city but still have plenty of space.
It has an average annual precipitation of 57 inches, which means there’s plenty of rain.
You can find parcels of land with beautiful views and plenty of space. Perfect for farming or raising livestock, at very affordable prices. As an added bonus, property tax is low
Jackson is a beautiful place to live. You can enjoy the sun and fresh air throughout the year. The weather is mild, with hot summers and short winters.
The climate is perfect for agriculture, and there is plenty of land available at very reasonable prices. The cost of living is low, and renewable energy options are plentiful. Water availability is excellent. Another big plus is the lack of building codes.
The availability of renewable power is very good. Due to the abundance of sunshine and wind energy.
Genesee is a great place to live if you’re looking for a quiet, rural area with plenty of options for off gridders.
The county’s agricultural economy is thriving , and there are many opportunities for farmers. The climate and weather are moderate enough that crops can be grown year-round. But are mostly planted in the spring and fall.
The soil is rich and fertile, which makes it possible for you to grow almost anything you want to eat.
The cost of living is very low, which makes it easy to live on a small income. Additionally, property prices are very affordable.
For those that don’t mind cold weather Montana is a fantastic destination for living off the grid.
There’s a lot of affordable land. It has a low population density, and the state laws are friendly to the off grid lifestyle. Plus, the state’s living costs and low crime rate are also favorable.
The growing seasons aren’t as lengthy as many of the other good off-grid states. But you can construct greenhouses and extend the growing season.
Montana is blessed with plenty of rich pastures and prairies. Making it ideal for raising livestock.
The windy nature of the state provides perfect conditions for wind turbine power.
Best Places In Montana For Off-Grid Living
Beaverhead is the perfect place to move if you’re looking for an off-the-grid lifestyle. The climate and weather are mild and the land is affordable. There are also plenty of renewable power options.
It’s located in southwestern Montana, so its weather is much milder than in the north. This means that you’re able to grow food for longer periods.
Beaverhead has a very low population density, with only 9.454 people on 5543 square miles.
The cost of living is lower than the state average. Plus, there are no sales or income taxes,
Madison is a unique spot for an off-grid home. It’s got great climate, good soil, and a strong community that supports its residents.
It is located in the southwest corner of Montana. Madison has an area of almost 3,000 square miles, with a population of around 19,000 people.
Ravalli is located in the northern part of the state with a population of around 43,000 people living on 2394 square miles.
There are many options when it comes to renewable power. With plenty of sunshine and wind available.
Video Showing Off Grid Living in Montana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YGOHAX3dlM
If you’re someone that wants to go off grid but prefer to live in isolation, then Wyoming is the state for you. Wyoming has the lowest population density in the entire United States.
Another plus, is the low cost of living. One of the main reasons Wyoming is ranked among the best states to live off-the-grid, is because of its affordable living costs.
There is plenty of cheap land available, fairly low property tax, no income tax and sales tax of only 4%.
The abundance of flat grasslands provides an ideal climate for harvesting wind and solar power.
You won’t have any problems setting up a homestead, as building codes are pretty lax in Wyoming.
Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Wyoming
Living off the grid in Sweetwater is a unique experience. The climate is mild, and there are many opportunities for agriculture. The population is just under 45,000 people.
Sweetwater offers land for sale at reasonable prices with a property tax that is among the lowest in the nation.
It is located near two large rivers—the Snake River and the Green River. There is also abundant groundwater available within the county limits.
There are several renewable power options available, including wind, solar and hydroelectric power.
Niobrara is in the southeastern region of the state with a population of 2,377. It’s a great place to set up an off grid homestead. The cost of living is low, as well as the property tax and land costs.
The climate and weather are mild throughout the year. You’ll find that most days are sunny and clear with only a few cloudy days each month.
Niobrara has abundant water resources. Including three major rivers: the North Platte River, South Fork Laramie River, and Little Laramie River.
Hot Springs is a great place for off gridders. The weather is mild and predictable.
It’s located in the western part of the state. This beautiful area is known for its rich agricultural history. In fact, it’s one of the most fertile areas in Wyoming!
The local residents have an average cost of living lower than most of the state. The population is only 4,550 people, which means there’s plenty of land available for new off-gridders.
Maine is one of the best states to live off the grid. It’s state and zoning laws are very conducive to the off grid lifestyle. Land in remote areas is relatively affordable. Plus population density and crime rates are low. To top if off building codes are pretty lenient.
The growing season is not ideal for growing food. As its shorter than in some midwestern and southern states. But crops can be grown using greenhouse and indoor cultivation.
Maine abounds with natural resources. Wood, water and rocks are readily available.
Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Maine
York is a great place to be if you want to be off the grid. The climate and weather are ideal for growing crops. There are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of renewable power sources—especially solar!
The county has some of the best farmland in Maine, making it an ideal place to grow your own food. There are also plenty of opportunities for hunting and fishing. The area has plenty of land available for purchase, and it’s also an agricultural hub.
The cost of living and property tax are both very reasonable when compared with other areas of the state.
Oxford is a great place to live if you’re looking for a rural community with plenty of opportunity for agriculture.
Oxford is about an hour north east of Portland, Maine. There are many advantages to living in Oxford, including its friendly people, low cost of living and high quality of life.
You can find affordable land in Oxford where most people grow their own food or raise livestock like chickens or goats.
Cumberland is an amazing area to live. It’s beautiful, affordable and close to the ocean and mountains. It is in southern Maine and has a low crime rate and great schools.
If you’re looking for a place with off grid communities, Cumberland has several options.
There are several communities that have been established on forested land in the county.
Oregon is very welcoming to people who want to live off grid and is home to many off grid communities.
Two very notable off grid communities are:
Breitenbush Hot Springs: A famous 154 acre off grid community located near Portland. That is completely run by hydroelectricity and heats its buildings using hot springs.
Three Rivers Recreation Area : A 4000 acre gated community with around 600 homes completely powered by solar power. With its own marina and private air strip.
Much of Oregon is covered by desert. So, if you decide on settling there, you should head west.
The westerly part of Oregon, particularly, the Cascade Mountain Range, is more suitable for the off grid way of life. The region is blessed with plenty of timber and there is no shortage of hunting and fishing opportunities.
Oregon’s property taxes and land prices are also very favorable.
Best Places to Live off Grid in Oregon
Living off the grid in Klamath can be a rewarding experience. The climate and weather is ideal for agriculture. There are also plenty of opportunities for renewable energy, water, and land.
Klamath is located in Southern Oregon, and has a population of around 67,000 people. The climate is relatively mild compared to other parts of the state.
There are several communities where people can live off the grid. These communities have access to renewable energy. As well as ample water resources for drinking and irrigation purposes
Douglas is located in the lush Willamette Valley with a population of over 110,000 people.
There are a lot of reasons to want to live off the grid in Douglas. The climate is mild, and there’s plenty of sunshine for solar power. You can grow just about anything on your own land if you want to get started farming!
The living costs are low, and you can find land that’s affordable. There’s also plenty of water available —so don’t need to worry about running out anytime soon!
Harney has a very low cost of living and property taxes are low too. There is also no sales taxes! The price of land is also reasonable compared to other parts of the state.
The availability of renewable power sources makes this an ideal place for the off gridders.
Harney is in the southeast corner of Oregon, and it has a population of just over 7,000 residents. The county also has many scenic lakes that are perfect for fishing.
Harney has a mild climate with warm summers and cold winters. There are plenty of sunny days throughout the year.
New Mexico gets one of the highest scores on the list for cost of living. With super low land prices and living costs way below the national average.
New Mexico’s climate is also very desirable for persons who plan on using solar power. With plenty of sunshine year round.
The state has a well-established off-grid community. Most notably, the Earthship Biotecture located in Taos. The community was established in the 1970’s by Michael Reynolds, and its architectural features are renowned.
The village includes solar-powered and sustainable buildings. Constructed of upcycled materials including glass and automobile tires.
Best Places for Off Grid Living In New Mexico
Taos is a great place for living off grid. It has fertile soil for growing crops, the climate is moderate, and property taxes are low.
There is even an off-grid community with its own school!
If you’re looking for land on a budget? Taos is the place for you. It’s land costs are very affordable.
The availability of renewable power in Taos is good because it has a lot of sun and wind power potential.
Torrance is a great place to live if you’re looking for a quiet, rural area with a close-knit sense of community.
It’s located in the southern part of the state, along the Texas border. It has an agricultural economy. Which means that there are many opportunities to make a living off the land.
Water availability in Torrance is good. Since there are several wells available within this area. There are also ponds, lakes, rivers and streams available for irrigation purposes!
The living costs in Torrance are lower than the state and national average.
Socorro is a gorgeous place to live. It’s got a lot going for it—beautiful views, a great climate, and plenty of space to grow.
The population is a little less than 17,000. The local people are mainly farmers or ranchers, and tend to stick to their own kind.
Socorro is one of the most affordable places to live in New Mexico. It’s also a safe area, it has about half as many crimes as other areas in the state!
Arizona is one of the most popular places for people wanting to live off the grid. Primarily because of the beautiful surroundings and the large acreages available.
The state has a long growing season with plenty of sunshine, for growing food.
The only issue you may have is water availability. But this can be avoided by buying land with springs or having water transported to the location.
Arizona’s abundant sunshine makes it easy to do without the electric grid. There is ample sunshine to power solar systems throughout the year.
Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Arizona
Greenlee is a great place to live off the grid. The climate and weather are perfect for building a sustainable lifestyle.
Greenlee is located in the southeastern part of the state and has a population of just over 9,400 people.
The economy’s agricultural focus means you can spend your time growing your own food instead of spending it on groceries. Plus, there are no building codes in Greenlee.
Greenlee is a great place for renewable energy because of its high availability of sunshine.
Graham is a gorgeous place to live, with a warm climate and plenty of beautiful scenery. The area is rich in agriculture and has a reputation for being one of the best places in the country to raise cattle.
Located in the southeastern corner of Arizona, the county has seen a steady decline in population over the past few decades. It has a population of around 38,000 people.
It’s also home to many different types of agriculture and renewable power sources
If you’re interested in living off grid, but don’t want to be completely cut off from civilization, then Maricopa might be just right for you! There are several communities nearby.
Maricopa is a great place for green energy because it’s a dry county with few trees to compete with your solar panels for sunlight.
The climate is arid desert, which means it’s hot during summer months and cold during winter ones.
Ultimately, these states represent the best choices for living off grid. If the lifestyle appeals to you, then these states and counties would be a great place to start your search. Of course, each state has its own nuances which make it unique. But at least now you have some specific places to consider.