Least (and Most) Expensive States for a Single Person to Live Comfortably

Where a person lives impacts not only their potential income (for most people) but also the cost of living.  Some states are cheaper and others more expensive.

How much income does a single person need to live in each of the states?   To answer this, CNBC utilized MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.   This Calculator assumes there is  no outside economic assistance, includes items such as housing, transportation, health insurance, food, and other living costs (such as clothing and personal care) but excludes items such as savings, entertainment, restaurants and vacations.   The MIT Calculator reports minimum wage, living wage and poverty wage levels on an hourly basis.   These data are available at the state, city and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) levels.  While the MIT Calculator has options for one-or-two-adult households and zero to three children, this particular study focused on just a single person living alone.

Which states are the most and least affordable for single individuals?   The following table shows the necessary living wage along with estimated housing and food costs, ranked from the most to least affordable by state.  South Dakota, the least cost state, requires just 65 percent of the income compared to Hawaii, the most expensive.

To read the entire CNBC summary click https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/19/living-wage-for-a-single-person-in-every-us-state.html?__source=newsletter%7Cmakeitweekly

To access and run MIT’s Living Wage calculator clock http://livingwage.mit.edu/

As usual I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market.  No are incomes or the cost of living the same across and within states.   In the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island MSA, The median and average price were $445,000 and $897,280, respectively in June 2018 per the Florida Realtors®.  In Punta Gorda, just 66 miles Northwest, median and average single family home prices were less than one-half at $225,500 and $282,858, respectively.

For many, where they live impacts their income, not just expenses.  Another factor not included is the quality of life – a very subjective aspect of why people live where they do.


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