How much money you need to make to live comfortably in every state in America

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The annual income needed to live comfortably in New York is $US95,724. turtix/Shutterstock

Living paycheck to paycheck is an unfortunately common hallmark of American life. And that’s more evident than ever now, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many are reconsidering their living situations as the US faces a recession: Earlier last year, over 51 million people filed for unemployment in just a 17-week period. For context, the Great Recession eliminated 37 million jobs over 18 months.

Having it all — the ability to cover basic expenses, while still having “fun money” and contributing to savings — currently seems like an impossible feat.

That total amount, also known as the minimum annual “living wage,” varies significantly depending on what state you’re in.

In December, GoBankingRates determined the necessary living wage in each state using data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics and the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. This popular general budgeting rule allocates 50% of annual income to necessities like housing, 30% to discretionary expenses like travel, and the remaining 20% to savings.

The median necessary living wage across the entire US is $US67,690. The state with the lowest annual living wage is Mississippi, with $US58,321. The state with the highest living wage is Hawaii, with $US136,437. Other expensive states (unsurprisingly) included New York and California, which have notoriously high costs of living and expensive housing markets.

Keep reading to see the annual wage necessary for living comfortably in every US state, listed in alphabetical order by state name. Also included is the actual median household income in each state, according to 2019 data from the US Census Bureau and the median price of homes listed for sale in each state from Zillow.


The living wage in Alabama is $US60,016.

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Huntsville, Alabama. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US51,734

Median price of homes currently listed: $US220,000


The living wage in Alaska is $US91,996.

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Anchorage, Alaska. Rocky Grimes/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US75,463

Median price of homes currently listed: $US296,646


The living wage in Arizona is $US68,504.

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Phoenix. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US62,055

Median price of homes currently listed: $US303,230


The living wage in Arkansas is $US59,641.

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Little Rock, Arkansas. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US48,952

Median price of homes currently listed: $US140,986


The living wage in California is $US99,971.

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Los Angeles. Chones/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US80,440

Median price of homes currently listed: $US609,757


The living wage in Colorado in $US74,215.

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Denver. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US77,127

Median price of homes currently listed: $US431,100


The living wage in Connecticut is $US90,278.

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New London, Connecticut. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US78,833

Median price of homes currently listed: $US281,924


The living wage in Delaware is $US71,254.

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South Bethany Beach, Delaware. Getty Images

Median household income in 2019: $US70,176

Median price of homes currently listed: $US277,979


The living wage in Florida is $US67,614.

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Orlando, Florida. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US59,227

Median price of homes currently listed: $US264,149


The living wage in Georgia is $US62,074.

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Savannah, Georgia. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US61,980

Median price of homes currently listed: $US218,609


The living wage in Hawaii is $US136,437.

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Oahu, Hawaii. Guido Vermeulen-Perdaen/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US83,102

Median price of homes currently listed: $US667,005


The living wage in Idaho is $US66,486.

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Hailey, Idaho. Getty Images

Median household income in 2019: $US60,999

Median price of homes currently listed: $US331,126


The living wage in Illinois is $US66,847.

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Chicago. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US69,187

Median price of homes currently listed: $US217,105


The living wage in Indiana is $US62,086.

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Fort Wayne, Indiana. Deb Perry / Getty Images

Median household income in 2019: $US57,603

Median price of homes currently listed: $US169,156


The living wage in Iowa is $US63,397.

Image
Des Moines, Iowa. Shutterstock/Daydreambelieverme

Median household income in 2019: $US61,691

Median price of homes currently listed: $US157,308


The living wage in Kansas is $US62,090.

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Wichita, Kansas. DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Median household income in 2019: $US62,087

Median price of homes currently listed: $US164,336


The living wage in Kentucky is $US63,086.

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Louisville, Kentucky. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US52,295

Median price of homes currently listed: $US156,926


The living wage in Louisiana is $US63,842.

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New Orleans. Shutterstock/f11photo

Median household income in 2019: $US51,073

Median price of homes currently listed: $US177,548


The living wage in Maine is $US80,336.

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Portland, Maine. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US58,924

Median price of homes currently listed: $US269,753


The living wage in Maryland is $US92,227.

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Baltimore. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US86,738

Median price of homes currently listed: $US335,260


The living wage in Massachusetts is $US93,895.

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Boston. Shutterstock/Rsphotograph

Median household income in 2019: $US85,843

Median price of homes currently listed: $US464,279


The living wage in Michigan is $US67,712.

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Grand Rapids, Michigan. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US59,584

Median price of homes currently listed: $US187,747


The living wage in Minnesota is $US68,944.

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Minneapolis. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US74,593

Median price of homes currently listed: $US277,276


The living wage in Mississippi is $US58,321.

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Jackson, Mississippi. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US45,792

Median price of homes currently listed: $US131,973


The living wage in Missouri is $US60,858.

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St. Louis. f11photo/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US57,409

Median price of homes currently listed: $US176,609


The living wage in Montana is $US70,719.

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Missoula, Montana. Shutterstock/Keegan Connell

Median household income in 2019: $US57,153

Median price of homes currently listed: $US313,261


The living wage in Nebraska is $US65,162.

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Lincoln, Nebraska. Christopher Boswellshutterstock

Median household income in 2018: $US63,229

Median price of homes currently listed: $US189,139


The living wage in Nevada is $US75,902.

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Reno, Nevada. Legacy Images/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US63,276

Median price of homes currently listed: $US327,714


The living wage in New Hampshire is $US74,415.

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Concord, New Hampshire. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US77,933

Median price of homes currently listed: $US321,496


The living wage in New Jersey is $US86,244.

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Jersey City, New Jersey. f11photo/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US85,751

Median price of homes currently listed: $US367,103


The living wage in New Mexico is $US63,629.

Image
Albuquerque, New Mexico. turtix/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US51,945

Median price of homes currently listed: $US224,374


The living wage in New York is $US95,724.

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New York City. turtix/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US72,108

Median price of homes currently listed: $US343,164


The living wage in North Carolina is $US64,406.

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Charlotte, North Carolina. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2018: $US57,341

Median price of homes currently listed: $US220,710


The living wage in North Dakota is $US69,085.

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Fargo, North Dakota. David Harmantas/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US64,577

Median price of homes currently listed: $US236,012


The living wage in Ohio is $US63,204.

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Columbus, Ohio. Raymond Boyd/Getty

Median household income in 2018: $US58,642

Median price of homes currently listed: $US164,968


The living wage in Oklahoma is $US60,318.

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Median household income in 2019: $US54,449

Median price of homes currently listed: $US139,409


The living wage in Oregon is $US93,285.

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Eugene, Oregon. Airbnb

Median household income in 2019: $US67,058

Median price of homes currently listed: $US393,710


The living wage in Pennsylvania is $US68,581.

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Philadelphia. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2018: $US63,463

Median price of homes currently listed: $US211,287


The living wage in Rhode Island is $US83,942.

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Providence, Rhode Island. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US71,169

Median price of homes currently listed:$US331,458


The living wage in South Carolina is $US65,953.

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Charleston, South Carolina. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US56,227

Median price of homes currently listed: $US203,328


The living wage in South Dakota is $US67,657.

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Yankton, South Dakota. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US59,533

Median price of homes currently listed: $US222,435


The living wage in Tennessee is $US60,682.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee. Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US56,071

Median price of homes currently listed: $US203,134


The living wage in Texas is $US63,469.

Image
Austin, Texas. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US64,034

Median price of homes currently listed: $US220,034


The living wage in Utah is $US67,807.

Image
Salt Lake City. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US75,780

Median price of homes currently listed: $US386,723


The living wage in Vermont is $US83,878.

Image
Charlotte, Vermont. Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US63,001

Median price of homes currently listed: $US273,024


The living wage in Virginia is $US69,886.

Image
Norfolk, Virginia. Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US76,456

Median price of homes currently listed: $US302,369


The living wage in Washington is $US77,207.

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Seattle. Asif Islam/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US78,687

Median price of homes currently listed: $US458,313


The living wage in West Virginia is $US62,635.

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Charleston, West Virginia. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Median household income in 2019: $US48,850

Median price of homes currently listed: $US110,544


The living wage in Wisconsin is $US67,667.

Image
Milwaukee. Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

Median household income in 2019: $US64,168

Median price of homes currently listed: $US207,018


The living wage in Wyoming is $US61,788.

Image
Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Katie Warren/Business Insider

Median household income in 2019: $US65,003

Median price of homes currently listed: $US258,280