US

The living wage in each state – see how much single people need to earn to survive 

REVEALED: The living wage in each state: How much people need to earn to SURVIVE in Joe Biden’s America

  • MIT’s Living Wage Calculator showed that the cost of living has gone up
  • New update now includes costs of cell phones, Wi-Fi, pets and social activities
  • D.C. has the highest cost of living in the U.S., with a person needing $41,850 to meet their basic needs, such as food, housing, healthcare and other necessities 
  • South Dakota was the state with the lowest cost of living, with $26,225 

Residents in the nation’s capital need to earn nearly $42,000 a year – the highest in the country – to meet their basic needs, according to the latest Living Wage Calculator released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

In contrast to Washington, D.C, those in South Dakota can subsist on an annual salary of $26,225, according to MIT’s living wage index. 

The Living Wage Calculator estimates the minimum income necessary for a single person to meet their basic needs and stay above the poverty line, without additional help, in every state. 

The calculator took food, health care, housing, transportations, clothing and other necessities in to account, but a recent update now includes cell phone and Wi-Fi expenses as well. 

Civic engagements expenditures, such as pets, clubs movie tickets and museum excursions have also been included. 

MIT's Living Wage Calculator found that, overall, the cost of living has gone up in the U.S. The calculator tracks expenses along with each state's minimum wage. Pictured, a minimum wage employee working in the fast food industry

MIT’s Living Wage Calculator found that, overall, the cost of living has gone up in the U.S. The calculator tracks expenses along with each state’s minimum wage. Pictured, a minimum wage employee working in the fast food industry

The calculator considers all these expenses, as well as each state’s minimum wage and the spending patterns of their residents.  

The national minimum wage is set at $7.25. 

Hawaii comes in just behind Washington, D.C., for the highest cost of living per person at $40,412 before taxes. 

This year, Washington D.C. raised its minimum wage to $15.20, and the minimum wage in Hawaii is $10.10.  

South Dakota’s minimum wage is $9.30.  

There are only 29 states with minimum wages above the national standard.  

Dr. Amy Glasmeier, who worked on the new update, noted that the cost of food, childcare and transportation has gone up in the U.S. , with cities coastal cities seeing some of the biggest changes. 

Cities like Denver, Colorado; Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Midland, Texas, saw increases as well. 

Glasmeier added that including cellphones and Wi-Fi as necessities became apparent when a study showed more than half the people in the U.S. had mobile devices by 2010. 

The Living Wage Calculator had not seen a significant update since 2010, with the most requested costs to include being expenses related to pets and social activities. 

The calculator not only breaks down how much a single person would need, but it also shows figures for single parents households, two parents households with one parent working, and two parent households where both parents work.  

Here’s a look at what a single person needs to survive in every state and Washington D.C. 

Alabama

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,652
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,357
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage:  $7.25

Alaska

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,333
  • Estimated housing costs: $10,851
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $10.34 

Arizona

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,077
  • Estimated housing costs: $9,363
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $12.15 

Arkansas

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,652
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,526
  • Estimated food costs: $3,171
  • Minimum wage: $11 

California

  • Total required income before taxes: $38,823
  • Estimated housing costs: $15,235
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $14

Colorado

  • Total required income before taxes: $34,009
  • Estimated housing costs: $11,583
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $12.32 

Connecticut

  • Total required income before taxes: $33,240
  • Estimated housing costs: $11,094
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $13 

Delaware

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,868
  • Estimated housing costs: $9,765
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $9.25 

District of Columbia, Washington D.C.

  • Total required income before taxes: $41,535
  • Estimated housing costs: $17,235
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $15.20 

Florida

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,825
  • Estimated housing costs: $10,756
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $8.65 

Georgia

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,940
  • Estimated housing costs: $9,878
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Hawaii

  • Total required income before taxes: $40,412
  • Estimated housing costs: $16,337
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $10.10 

Idaho

  • Total required income before taxes: $29,007
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,047
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Illinois

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,975
  • Estimated housing costs: $9,869
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $11 

Indiana

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,955
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,072
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Iowa

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,327
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,564
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Kansas

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,093
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,154
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Kentucky

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,048
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,510
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Louisiana

  • Total required income before taxes: $29,251
  • Estimated housing costs:$7,981
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Maine

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,043
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,809
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $12.15 

Maryland

  • Total required income before taxes: $35,879
  • Estimated housing costs: $13,193
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $11.75 

Massachusetts

  • Total required income before taxes: $36,889
  • Estimated housing costs: $15,894
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $13.50 

Michigan

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,354
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,415
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $9.65 

Minnesota

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,997
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,608
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $10.08 

Mississippi

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,936
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,941
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Missouri

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,535
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,976
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $10.30 

Montana

  • Total required income before taxes: $29,004
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,209
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $8.75 

Nebraska

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,234
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,913
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $9 

Nevada

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,442
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,563
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $9.75 

New Hampshire

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,089
  • Estimated housing costs: $10,155
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

New Jersey

  • Total required income before taxes: $33,696
  • Estimated housing costs: $12,740
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $12 

New Mexico

  • Total required income before taxes: $29,057
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,300
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $10.50 

New York

  • Total required income before taxes: $38,719
  • Estimated housing costs: $15,084
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $12.50 

North Carolina

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,617
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,865
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

North Dakota

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,211
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,266
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Ohio

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,369
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,779
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $8.80 

Oklahoma

  • Total required income before taxes: $28,133
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,109
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Oregon

  • Total required income before taxes: $35,050
  • Estimated housing costs: $11,314
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $12.75 

Pennsylvania

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,861
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,443
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Rhode Island

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,763
  • Estimated housing costs: $9,638
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $11.50 

South Carolina

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,328
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,336
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

South Dakota

  • Total required income before taxes: $26,225
  • Estimated housing costs: $6,551
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $9.45 

Tennessee

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,563
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,928
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Texas

  • Total required income before taxes: $29,134
  • Estimated housing costs: $9,333
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Utah

  • Total required income before taxes: $30,211
  • Estimated housing costs: $8,495
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Vermont

  • Total required income before taxes: $31,057
  • Estimated housing costs: $10,061
  • Estimated food costs: $3,690
  • Minimum wage: $11.75 

Virginia

  • Total required income before taxes: $34,552
  • Estimated housing costs: $12,162
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $9.50 

Washington

  • Total required income before taxes: $33,982
  • Estimated housing costs: $13,739
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $13.69 

West Virginia

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,837
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,062
  • Estimated food costs: $3,177
  • Minimum wage: $8.75 

Wisconsin

  • Total required income before taxes: $29,160
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,325
  • Estimated food costs: $3,246
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

Wyoming

  • Total required income before taxes: $27,425
  • Estimated housing costs: $7,732
  • Estimated food costs: $3,792
  • Minimum wage: $7.25 

 

 Source: Living Wage Calculator

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