How Far Does $100 Go In Your State?

Photographed by Rachel Cabitt.
While most people would agree that earning a living wage is important, there's a lot of debate about what a living wage actually looks like — especially in different regions.
Earning $50,000 in Albany, New York looks a lot different than earning $50,000 in New York City. Plus, even within state lines, median salaries can have a dramatic range: The 2015 U.S. median household income was $55,775, but $55,775 will get you only so much depending on where you live.
So how far does 100 bucks gets you? The Tax Foundation recently broke down the relative value of $100 by state, compared to the national average. They found that states with higher incomes generally also had higher-priced goods, however, that wasn't always true.
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"Some states, like North Dakota, have high incomes without high prices. Adjusting incomes for price level can substantially change our perceptions of which states are truly poor or rich," the report explained. "For example, New Yorkers and North Dakotans earn approximately the same amount in dollars per capita, but after adjusting for regional price parity, North Dakotan incomes can buy more."
The report used 2015 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Unsurprisingly, looking at other factors like state and local minimum wages, income tax brackets, and public benefits impacted how long a $100 could last in someone's pocket by state.
"People in high price-level states like New Jersey will often pay more in federal taxes without feeling particularly rich," the Tax Foundation explained. So, again, no shocker that $100 in Florida (with its famously favorable tax rates), would come out to $100.50, compared to New York, where a Benjamin shakes out to $86.73 of value.
People in Hawaii and Washington, D.C. (which was ranked on the list, but not factored in with the 50 states) fared the worst, with high prices that work out to $100 of goods costing $118.80 and $117 respectively.
Want to know how far $100 will get you where you live? Check out the full list.
Bureau of Economic Analysis - U.S. Department of Commerce
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