Living Wage Calculator Shows How Much A Person Needs To Earn To Live In Each State

living wage calculator 2023

Do you feel as though you’re barely getting by, even though you earn a decent salary?

If you’re feeling poor even with a paycheck being deposited into your checking account every few weeks, the issue could be your geographic area.

Since the cost of housing, food, gas, insurance, and necessities fluctuates from state to state, earning enough money to survive looks remarkably different across the country.

To get a better idea of how far your dollar goes where you live, MIT created this Living Wage Calculator, which estimates the minimum income necessary for a single person to cover living expenses – and stay above the poverty line without outside help – across the United States.

The Living Wage Calculator considers several factors like the cost of food, health care, homes, rent, transportation, and necessities such as personal care, clothing, and housekeeping supplies. The calculator also considers the minimum wage in each state and analyzes annual changes in consumer spending patterns.

As CNBC explains, a recent update to the Living Wage Calculator includes a few changes to its methodology.

“The calculator’s estimates now include cell phone and Wi-Fi expenses, as well as civic engagement expenditures, such as pets, clubs, and movie or museum excursions.”

Residents in Washington, D.C. need to earn $42,000 a year – the highest in the country – to meet their basic needs, while single people in South Dakota can subsist on an annual salary of $26,225.

Here’s a breakdown by state of the total required income before taxes a single person needs to stay above the poverty line, according to the Living Wage Calculator.

Alabama: $28,652
Alaska: $31,333
Arizona: $31,077
Arkansas: $27,652
California: $38,823
Colorado: $34,009
Connecticut: $33,240
Delaware: $31,868
Florida: $30,825
Georgia: $31,940
Hawaii: $40,412
Idaho: $29,007
Illinois: $31,975
Indiana: $27,955
Iowa: $28,327
Kansas: $28,093
Kentucky: $28,048
Louisiana: $29,251
Maine: $31,043
Maryland: $35,879
Massachusetts: $36,889
Michigan: $28,354
Minnesota: $30,997
Mississippi: $27,936
Missouri: $28,535
Montana: $29,004
Nebraska: $28,234
Nevada: $28,442
New Hampshire: $30,089
New Jersey: $33,696
New Mexico: $29,057
New York: $38,719
North Carolina: $30,617
North Dakota: $27,211
Ohio: $27,369
Oklahoma: $28,133
Oregon: $35,050
Pennsylvania: $27,861
Rhode Island: $30,763
South Carolina: $30,328
South Dakota: $26,225
Tennessee: $27,563
Texas: $29,134
Utah: $30,211
Vermont: $31,057
Virginia: $34,552
Washington: $33,982
West Virginia: $27,837
Wisconsin: $29,160
Wyoming: $27,425

To find out more about the Living Wage Calculator, head over to the MIT website.

Chris Illuminati

Chris Illuminati is the author of five books and has written about personal finance, wealth, debt management, and entrepreneurship for numerous outlets including Wise Bread, Grow or Die, and Bankrate.