Weird History

How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State 

Melissa Sartore
6.7k views 51 items

Basic living expenses - housing, transportation, clothing, healthcare, food - vary significantly by location. Take Los Angeles, California - the cost of living in LA in 2020 exceeds that in a Midwestern city like Omaha, NE, by 93%. The difference is even larger when you compare LA to a Southern location like Mobile, AL, with the cost of living in the former estimated at nearly 112% higher than the latter. It kind of makes you wonder - were such stark discrepancies always in place?  How about during the 1970s?

Luckily, data from the US Census Bureau can offer insight into these inquiries. As median monthly gross rent - a figure that includes both rent and utilities - rose and fell (mostly rose) throughout the latter 20th century, the Census Bureau tracked the changes. While averages can be helpful when looking at large batches of numbers, outliers and bottlenecks often skew the information. As a result, the Census Bureau offers medians. A median is the number at the center of a data set, often used for widely distributed samples. Medians separate the top and bottom halves of a sample, hitting that sweet spot right in the middle. 

With widespread stagflation - a term denoting concurrent inflation and unemployment - during the 1970s, individuals throughout the US were concerned about the high cost of living. Across the country, the median monthly gross rent was $108, a figure that, when adjusted for inflation, equals $734.21 today. With that in mind, what would rent have looked like for you during the 1970s in your state? Decades later, it might not be as different as you'd think. To see for yourself, put on some bell bottoms, load up the 8-track player with a little disco, and take a look.

back to page 1
Missouri is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $96 

Adjusted For Inflation: $652.63

Montana is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $89 

Adjusted For Inflation: $605.04

Nebraska is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $95 

Adjusted For Inflation: $645.83

Nevada is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $141 

Adjusted For Inflation:: $958.55

New Hampshire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $99 

Adjusted For Inflation: $673.03

New Jersey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $126 

Adjusted For Inflation: $856.58

New Mexico is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $88

Adjusted For Inflation: $598.25

New York is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $111 

Adjusted For Inflation: $754.61

North Carolina is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $86 

Adjusted For Inflation: $584.65

North Dakota is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $97 

Adjusted For Inflation: $659.43

Ohio is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $105 

Adjusted For Inflation: $713.82

Oklahoma is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $82 

Adjusted For Inflation: $557.46

Oregon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $107 

Adjusted For Inflation: $727.41

Pennsylvania is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $93 

Adjusted For Inflation: $632.24

Rhode Island is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $93 

Adjusted For Inflation: $632.24

South Carolina is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $77 

Adjusted For Inflation: $523.47

South Dakota is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $88 

Adjusted For Inflation: $598.25

Tennessee is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $82 

Adjusted For Inflation: $557.46

Texas is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $95 

Adjusted For Inflation: $645.83

Utah is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $97 

Adjusted For Inflation: $659.43

Vermont is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $98 

Adjusted For Inflation: $666.23

Virginia is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $115 

Adjusted For Inflation: $781.80

Washington is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $113 

Adjusted For Inflation: $768.20

West Virginia is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $72 

Adjusted For Inflation: $489.47

Wisconsin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list How Much Your Rent Would Cost In 1970 In Every US State

Median 1970 Rent: $113 

Adjusted For Inflation: $768.20