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How much money is needed for a comfortable life in different states of America

For single people living in the US, getting enough money to make ends meet looks different. But location can play an important role as the cost of housing, food, insurance and basic necessities varies from place to place. MakeIt.

Photo: Shutterstock

living wage calculator The Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates the minimum income required for a single person to cover their living expenses and stay above the unaided poverty line in the US.

The calculator takes into account a number of factors, including the cost of food, medical care, housing, transportation, taxes, and other essentials such as personal care products, clothing, and household items. It also takes into account each state's minimum wage and looks at year-to-year changes in consumer spending patterns.

Below is an example calculation for two districts.

The specified living wage is the hourly rate that a household member must earn in order to support himself and his family. It is assumed that the sole breadwinner works full time (2080 hours per year). The tool provides information for individuals and households with one or two working adults and zero to three children.

The state minimum wage is the same for all people, no matter how many dependents they have. The data is updated annually in the first quarter of a new year. The state minimum wage is determined based on the published minimum wage as of January 1 of the following year (2019 National Conference of State Legislatures). The poverty rate reflects a person's gross annual income. The calculator converted it to an hourly rate for comparison.

The most recent update to the calculator included several changes to its methodology. Calculator estimates now include spending on mobile phone and Wi-Fi, as well as spending on civic activities like pets, clubs, and trips to movies or museums.

In general, the cost of living for Americans is rising. They spend more on where they live, on the food they buy, and on how they get around.

On the subject: Where in the USA is it more profitable to buy a house, and where is it better to rent

Here's a closer look at what the tax-free living wage per person, including estimated housing and food expenses, would be in each US state. Keep in mind that these numbers are estimates, state numbers are averages for their counties. The amounts will vary from place to place, even within the state.

Approximate numbers in a particular city, agglomeration or county

Alabama
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 28
  • Estimated cost of housing: $7
  • Estimated Meal Cost: $ 3
Alaska
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 31
  • Estimated cost of housing: $10
  • Estimated cost of meals: $3
Arizona
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 31
  • Estimated cost of housing: $9
  • Estimated cost of meals: $3

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Арканзас
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 27
  • Estimated cost of housing: $6
  • Estimated Meal Cost: $ 3
California
  • Total required income before taxes: $38
  • Estimated cost of housing: $15
  • Estimated cost of meals: $3
Colorado
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 34
  • Estimated cost of housing: $11
  • Estimated cost of meals: $3
Connecticut
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 33
  • Estimated cost of housing: $11
  • Estimated cost of food: $3
Delaware
  • Total Pre-Tax Income Required: $ 31
  • Estimated cost of housing: $9
  • Estimated food expenses: $3177

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Miscellanea In the U.S. living wage income calculation calculator
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