The primary benefit of renting an apartment is flexibility. Renters can move to a different neighborhood (or another city altogether) without worrying about selling their homes. But, according to our latest analysis, that flexibility often comes at a cost—renting is more expensive on average in 40 out of 50 states.

The numbers for our map and visualization come from Zillow’s housing data for March 2018, but our friends at GoBankingRates actually collected it. The map provides an intuitive look at the geography of renting vs. owning. We used a simple cutoff to compare buying and renting—if the difference was less than $50/month either way, we classified the state as neutral. That’s simply not enough money for us to make a judgement about if owning a home makes sense. But with a difference of more than about $50/month, the scales begin to tip in favor of one or the other.

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