How Much Would it Cost to Buy a State?


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The United States Constitution does not allow for states to be bought and sold.

But that doesn’t stop us from wondering how much it would cost to buy a state or even the entire US.

buy a state

The cost of a state, if it were for sale, would depend on a variety of factors, including its size, resources, population, and location.

Let’s explore the potential cost of buying a state or the entire US and the factors that determine their value.

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Table of Contents

Factors That Determine the Value of a State for Potential Buyers

There are many factors to consider when determining the value of a state for potential buyers. These include:

  • Size: The larger the state, the higher the price.
  • Resources: A state with abundant natural resources such as oil, gas, and minerals would be more valuable than one without.
  • Population: A state with a larger population would be more valuable due to the potential for more economic growth and a larger workforce.
  • Location: States that are closer to major cities, ports, or other transportation hubs would be more valuable due to their accessibility.
  • Economic growth potential: States with a strong economy and potential for growth would be more valuable.
  • Cost of living: States with a lower cost of living would be more affordable and desirable for buyers.
  • Median home value: States with a lower median home value would be more affordable for buyers.
  • Job market: States with a strong job market would be more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Political stability: States with a stable political climate would be more attractive to investors.
  • Infrastructure: States with well-developed infrastructure such as roads, airports, and public transportation would be more valuable.
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Economic and Political Implications of Buying a State or the US

The economic and political implications of buying a state or the entire US would be vast and far-reaching.

For example, buying a state or the entire US could impact the global economy and the sovereignty of the country.

Additionally, buying a state could potentially impact the political landscape of the country, as states have their own laws and regulations that differ from one another.

Real Estate Value of the US (Breakdown)

According to the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report, the total value of real estate owned by households, non-profit organizations, and businesses is $23.151 trillion and $20.941 trillion, respectively.

The estimated value of the 628.8 million acres of land held by the Federal government ranges from $500/acre to $3,000/acre, with a maximum value of $1.886 trillion.

The 3.35 billion square feet of Federal property have an estimated value of $80.4 billion, bringing the total real estate value to $1.966 trillion.

However, buying the land and properties of the US would cost $46.058 trillion. The size of the global economy minus the US is approximately $60 trillion.

The value of the US, if it were hypothetically up for sale, would be possibly more money than what is even in worldwide circulation.

Understanding the State-by-State Differences

When it comes to buying land in the US, the state you choose to invest in can make a significant difference in the cost.

According to a report from zippia, Wyoming has the cheapest land in the country, with an average cost of $1,558 per acre, while New Jersey has the most expensive land, with an average cost of $196,410 per acre.

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These differences in land prices can have a significant impact on home ownership accessibility, especially for those looking to buy in expensive states. According to a report from Zillow, the median home value in Hawaii, the most expensive state in the country, is $585,000, making it difficult for many residents to afford to buy a home.

In contrast, Mississippi, the cheapest state in the country, has a median home value of $116,500, making homeownership more accessible to a larger portion of the population.

In addition to land prices, other factors can affect the cost and accessibility of homeownership in different states.

For example, states with a high cost of living, such as California and New York, may require a larger income to afford the same standard of living as in other states. Job market availability and infrastructure, including access to transportation and broadband internet, can also affect the cost and accessibility of homeownership.

Cost of Homeownership in the US (Beyond Land Prices)

While land prices are a significant factor in the cost of buying a state or property within a state, other expenses also need to be taken into consideration.

Building a house on purchased land can come with a lot of expensive needs, such as plumbing, electricity, and walls, which can add up quickly.

In addition to the cost of building a house, other expenses, such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and utilities, need to be taken into account.

According to a report from The Balance, the average American homeowner spends around $2,127 per year on property taxes, with rates varying significantly between states.

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Homeowner association fees can also add to the cost of homeownership, with an average fee of around $200 per month, according to a report from NerdWallet.

Utilities, such as electricity and water, can also be costly, with the average American homeowner spending around $2,060 per year on utilities.

Buying a State or Property Within a State in the US (Pros/Cons)

While the idea of buying a state or property within a state may be appealing, it is essential to consider the pros and cons before making a purchase.

One of the main advantages of owning property is the potential for appreciation in value, with real estate often considered a sound long-term investment.

However, there are also several drawbacks to owning property, including the cost and maintenance required.

Property ownership also comes with legal responsibilities, such as complying with zoning regulations and building codes, which can be costly and time-consuming.

In addition, buying a state or property within a state can have political and economic implications, both locally and nationally.

For example, the sale of public land or natural resources within a state can lead to protests and legal challenges. Buying a state or the US as a whole could also have significant implications for the country’s sovereignty and impact the global economy.