If you're a person who loves the feeling of not being bugged when you can't use your phone because you're waiting 3 hours while it updates, then you would like being off the grid. If you get anxious when you haven't touched your phone in 34 seconds, then you need to go off the grid. A new study has listed the best and worst states to go off the grid and the best-of-the-best is the Hawkeye state.

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What Does It Mean To "Live Off The Grid"?

Car on asphalt road in beautiful spring day at countryside

What we normally think: Urban Dictionary defines going off or living off the grid as:

"Unrecorded, untraceable through normal means."

You know, people can't reach you or really even find you. You don't use your phone, you stop sharing your location on Snapchat, those kinds of things.

• Actual definition: The Cambridge Dictionary's actual definition of off-the-grid is this:

"Not connected to the main electricity grid (= system of connected wires and power stations); or

Not connected to any of the main utilities (= electricity, water, etc.) and having your own power and water supply"

• Stop teaching me definitions: The reason I bring up that is for the clarity of what we are talking about here. To live off the grid doesn't mean turning off your iPhone for a few hours to "take a break from the world." Living off the grid means living like the prairie people, chilling like the Amish, and taking a spot on the Oregon Trail. Any of those weird analogies I just made up.

Every time I hear the phrase, "going off the grid", this commercial from Little Caesars plays rent-free in my head.

How Do I Go Off The Grid?

Ghost Town in Cody, Wyoming

No, you don't need to live in a town that looks like it was built in 1843 and abandoned in January of 1844.

What don't I need?: To live off the grid, you definitely don't need people (family doesn't count as people), cellphone coverage, or access to power plants, city-provided water, and things like that.

• What DO I need?: You do need things to live off the grid like water, renewable energy, food, good weather, and a hospital in the middle of nowhere.

All of those things were factored into LawnStarter.com's list of 2023’s Best States to Live Off the Grid.

• What makes a good "off the grid" state?: In order to determine which states are good to leave people and the world behind and state's which are better just to stay at home, LawnStarter.com gathered publicly available data on 23 key factors, such as the cost of farmland, the legality of self-generated utilities, and availability of renewable energy. They also considered indicators like climate, phone connectivity, and access to rural hospitals. LawnStarter.com grouped those factors into five categories:

  1. Feasibility
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Affordability
  4. Climate
  5. Safety

LawnStarter.com then calculated weighted scores for each state in each category. Finally, they averaged the scores for each state across all categories giving them their list of 2023’s Best States to Live Off the Grid.

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Iowa, Fields of Opportunities to Get Off The Grid


A lot of corn and little amounts of people makes Iowa the perfect place to go off the grid.

• Get off the grid in Iowa: LawnStarter.com found that Iowa was named the best state to live off the grid in. Why is Iowa so perfect? Here is how the Hawkeye state ranked in the five key categories:

  1. Feasibility - 12th
  2. Infrastructure - 2nd
  3. Affordability - 31st
  4. Climate - 27th
  5. Safety - 1st

•Iowa's overall score was 67.12 (whatever that means) making it the best state to live off the grid.

What about Illinois? Illinois did pretty well on this list landing the Land of Lincoln in the top 10. Illinois is the 9th best state to go off the grid thanks to its ranking in feasibility, infrastructure, and (surprisingly) safety.

Iowa's & Illinois' neighbor: Wisconsin didn't do too bad either. Wisconsin was named the 14th best state to live off the grid. Minnesota (4th), Nebraska (6th), Kansas (7th), North Dakota (8th), Missouri (11th), and South Dakota (13th) were the other Midwest states that landed in the top 15.

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