More Important Than Per Capita Income is the Comparative Cost of Living

Yesterday I wrote about the change in Median Incomes from 2010 to 2011 by state.  More important, however, is the comparative cost of living and what incomes are in those respective markets.  Fortunately there is a phenomenal Web Site that compares both the relative cost of living and how salaries vary between cities by Move, Inc.

Home Fair

This site also allows the user to select living in one location and working in another (among other useful tools).

In yesterday’s blog  I noted that Wisconsin ranked 25th in Per Capita Income at $40,073.  Using the site, and selecting Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (and I inputted $100,000 as the income since that number makes a percentage comparison easy)  and moving to Denver, Colorado, you find that it costs an estimated $103,841 to maintain the same standard of living.  Denver, however, pays on average 6.1 percent more than Milwaukee, so an individual relocating to Denver that made $100,000 in Milwaukee would have an added $2,257 in disposable income.   Admittedly, these are averages and may not apply for any specific individual.

Here are a few comparisons from cities where I have recently spoke or will be speaking in the near future.  Note how great even within the same state cost of living and compensation varies.  In the first table, a person making $100,000 in Nashville would need to earn $114,158 if they relocated to Atlanta, yet a typical job in Atlanta pays just 8.1 percent more, so this individual would lose $6,000 in disposable income.


This is a powerful site for those involved in the relocation industry, business America and economic development individuals.

Be sure to share with Realtors®, builders, lenders, government officials and businesses.


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