My city Tulsa in Oklahoma has a lot of tattoo parlors and freelance tattoo artists. It's easy to get the tools here and you could probably get an apprenticeship pretty easily here, you'd have to get a license before you did ay tattoos on people though. All in all the tattoo scene here is great.
Cheap ones about $200-300, bigger/better ones can go up to 600 and beyond. I can get you an apartment finder link if you'd like. Some apartments still have all bills paid too which is great if you only want to worry about rent.
[link] Here's a good search for apartment listings so you'll have more options. I always recommend keeping the application fee in mind before applying at a new apartment but one apartment company I highly suggest is Capital Assets because if you decide to move into a different apartment chain they own there is no application fee. The Hunter's Creek chain (where I'm living now) also has duplexes and a lot of their apartments are easy to afford. They have decent maintenance as well for the most part. Better than a lot of other places from what I've witnessed. Some apartments get stupid with their maintenance.
[link] Here's their website so you can see their places. It usually depends on what particular branch you go to with them but one place I suggest you NOT go with them is Cobblestone. That particular branch is an absolute NIGHTMARE for a way too many reasons. Someone broke into my sister's house to steal a bin of mismatched and mateless socks and all her grape kool aid. No joke. Oh and they took the batteries from her remote but left the tv. Crazy stuff like that.
The two best branches of theirs I'd recommend are the Sand Dollar apartments on Riverside, though the surrounding area isn't that great the apartment complex is gated. The other place is Hunter's Creek where I am now. The apartments there aren't as good as the duplexes but they are liveable and they throw some sweet parties for the residents.
One apartment complex you should avoid like the plague is the Rose Rock apartments, meth labs EVERYWHERE. There's a drug bust every couple of days and no less than once a week.
The chain I'd suggest staying away from is Case and Associates unless you can afford it but they also have some blegh customer service from my experiences.
Another good place to look for apartments/housing is Craigslist. You can usually find some decent mini houses and such for rent there.
Rule of thumb for Tulsa though. Don't ever live downtown and stay out of North Tulsa unless you absolutely 100% MUST go there and never stay long. Those parts of town are TERRIBLE. Also avoid living too near Peoria unless you go for the Sand Dollar apartments. Peoria is becoming a terrible ghetto.
There's a pretty big tattoo scene here in NYC if that helps any. I only have one tattoo from a now-defunct shop so I can't really refer you to any particular places for an apprenticeship but I do know of some places that do amazing work since I've been looking into them for my second tattoo.
Maybe you could try California? ~kissofthevampire364 mentioned liberals, and California is a fairly liberal state. Not to mention, I know several people with tattoos, at least 3 in my college dorms that I know personally, my step sister in San Francisco, and then I've seen a lot of students with them.
On a slightly related note, do you know about the thing where people are having tattoos behind their ears? Like kinda above the neck? I don't understand why so many people here are doing it, it seems like an odd place to put a tattoo IMO. You would have a better time looking at a back tattoo I think
I would say a place that doesn't have a lot of competition. Maybe on the east coast somewhere? For some reason I'm thinking more liberals get tattoos and there's a lot of them on the east coast. But then again in texas you'd expect tattoos there too.... hmmmmm.