The top US states for homesteading, tiny homes, and off-grid living

tiny home
© Jennfier G. Lang

When things are feeling grim, the idea of self-sufficient living seems even more appealing. Here's where it's all happening, according to Instagram..

The climate crisis, wealth disparity, and other various components of modern life have inspired more people than ever to rethink their place in mainstream society. Add in a pandemic and the idea of self-sufficient living may be even more appealing. Not that many people would necessarily love quarantining in a tiny home in the city, for example – but a tiny home parked in a giant meadow next to hills and a stream might not be so bad. Likewise, homesteading and being off the grid certainly feel alluring when supply chains are burdened and entering places of commerce is limited and must be done with caution.

While the white-picket-fence ideals of the "American Dream" may long be a part of our national character, we also have independence hardwired into our cultural DNA. And because of this, as the going gets tough, we are seeing tiny house living, homesteading, and off-grid living inching into more mainstream conversations. One look at the popularity of television shows like Tiny House Nation and Tiny House, Big Living prove the point.

But here's a question: Where is all of this happening? As home-improvement matchmaker company HomeAdviser observes, "If they’re doing it properly, nobody really knows." But nonetheless, the company "went hunting for signs of life on Instagram." They gathered data on posts tagged #homesteading, #tinyliving, and #offgridliving, and then mapped the results. Now of course this isn't an exact science, but here's what they uncovered about the three movements, according to Instagram.

The 10 most popular states for homesteading

Homesteading is all about producing more and consuming less. Think backyard chickens, composting, vegetable gardens, making one's own clothes, and more. Here are the states from which there is a lot of Instagram activity around the topic.

1. California
2. Texas
3. Washington
4. North Carolina
5. Tennessee
6. New York
7. Pennsylvania
8. Georgia
9. Virginia
10. Colorado

The 10 most popular states for off-grid living

Well this one is a little tricky. The data was gathered from Instagram, and not every off-gridder is going to be using the internet, let alone social media. So let's qualify this one as the most popular states for visible off-the-grid living.

1. California
2. Colorado
3. Arizona
4. Oregon
5. Hawaii
6. Florida
7. Alaska
8. Utah
9. New Mexico
10. New York

The 10 most popular states for tiny living

In general, a tiny house is one that does not exceed 400 square feet – whether on wheels or a traditional foundation. Because of their size and potential mobility, we see them popping up all over the country. HomeAdvisor notes that as far as Instagram goes, they appear to be a popular urban solution. "Our Instagram data suggests that tiny living figures big in cities known for arts and creativity: Portland, Oregon (695 photos) is America’s Tiny Capital, while Austin, Texas, L.A., New York City and Seattle all feature in the top 10. Today’s design-led tiny living movement is more cultured and modern than the ‘back to the earth’ subcultures of homesteading and off-gridding." Here is how it looks by state.

1. California
2. Colorado
3. Florida
4. Texas
5. Oregon
6. Washington
7. Arizona
8. North Carolina
9. New York
10. Utah

To learn more about these maps and the methodology used to create them, visit HomeAdvisor. For more on the movements, see our related stories below.

The top US states for homesteading, tiny homes, and off-grid living
When things are feeling grim, the idea of self-sufficient living seems even more appealing. Here's where it's all happening, according to Instagram.

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