How Much Do You Need to Earn to Afford an Apartment in Each State?

A couple in a brightly lit apartment
ProStockStudio / Shutterstock.com

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a housing advocacy group is highlighting just how unaffordable renting is for most Americans working full-time and earning the minimum wage.

Workers earning the minimum wage, even working 40 hours a week, won’t make enough money to affordably rent a modest two-bedroom apartment in any state, metropolitan area, or county, according to the 2020 Out of Reach report.

That’s also true of one-bedroom apartments in 95% of U.S. counties, says the report published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Housing is considered a “cost burden,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, if it costs more than 30% of your income — possibly not leaving enough for other essentials. That’s also the measure of affordability used in the report.

Where does your state stand? Here is the coalition’s ranking of every state and the District of Columbia for apartment affordability, from the most affordable to the least.

51. Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas skyline
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.00
Wage required to afford* a two-bedroom rental home: $14.19
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford* that home: 57 hours a week

* The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s standard for affordability is housing that costs up to 30% of monthly income.

50. Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $14.89
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 82 hours a week

49. West Virginia

West Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $8.75
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $14.97
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 68 hours a week

48. Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $14.99
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 83 hours a week

47. South Dakota

Sopotnicki / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.30
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $15.24
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 66 hours a week

46. Alabama

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $15.44
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 85 hours a week

45. Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $15.46
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 85 hours a week

44. Oklahoma

Oklahoma City
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $15.93
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 88 hours a week

43. Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $8.70
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $15.99
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 74 hours a week

42. Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri in snowfall.
PhilipR / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.45
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.07
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 68 hours a week

41. North Dakota

Downtown Fargo.
David Harmantas / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.18
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 89 hours a week

40. Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Mark Dahmke / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.27
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 72 hours a week

39. Indiana

Indiana
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.32
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 90 hours a week

38. New Mexico

Hot air balloons in New Mexico
Tim Pleasant / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.37
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 73 hours a week

37. Kansas

Topeka, Kansas
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.43
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 91 hours a week

36. Idaho

Idaho
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.59
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 92 hours a week

35. Montana

Livingston, Montana
Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $8.65
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $16.88
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 78 hours a week

34. Tennessee

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.09
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 94 hours a week

33. Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.15
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 95 hours a week

32. Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.27
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 95 hours a week

31. South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.30
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 95 hours a week

30. Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.65
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.42
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 72 hours a week

29. Louisiana

New Orleans
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.48
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 96 hours a week

28. North Carolina

Robert Donovan / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $17.67
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 97 hours a week

27. Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $19.11
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 105 hours a week

26. Pennsylvania

mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $19.23
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 106 hours a week

25. Maine

Bangor, Maine
jiawangkun / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $12.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $19.79
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 66 hours a week

24. Utah

Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $19.83
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 109 hours a week

23. Nevada

Reno, Nevada
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $20.48
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 91 hours a week

22. Minnesota

Roger Siljander / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $20.53
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 82 hours a week

21. Texas

Aneese / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $20.90
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 115 hours a week

20. Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
welcomia / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $12.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $21.10
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 70 hours a week

19. Rhode Island

Providence College
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.50
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $21.16
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 81 hours a week

18. Illinois

pisaphotography / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $21.30
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 85 hours a week

17. Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $9.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $21.96
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 95 hours a week

16. Vermont

Burlington, Vermont
Erika J Mitchell / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.96
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $23.36
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 85 hours a week

15. New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $23.43
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 129 hours a week

14. Virginia

Arlington, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $7.25
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $23.64
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 130 hours a week

13. Oregon

Bridge over Willamette River, Oregon
JPL Designs / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $12.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $24.37
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 81 hours a week

12. Florida

Orlando, Florida
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $8.56
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $24.43
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 114 hours a week

11. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.19
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $25.07
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 98 hours a week

10. Connecticut

City scene of Hartford, Connecticut
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $11.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $26.42
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 96 hours a week

9. Colorado

Denver, Colorado
EdgeofReason / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $12.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $26.45
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 88 hours a week

8. Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland
sean-pavone / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $11.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $28.06
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 102 hours a week

7. New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey
FotosForTheFuture / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $11.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $29.69
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 108 hours a week

6. Washington

Seattle skyline
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $13.50
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $30.46
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 90 hours a week

5. New York

Senior couple walking outdoors
William Perugini / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $11.80
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $32.53
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 110 hours a week

4. District of Columbia

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $15.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $32.83
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 88 hours a week

3. Massachusetts

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $12.75
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $35.52
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 111 hours a week

2. California

Dancestrokes / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $13.00
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $36.96
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 114 hours a week

1. Hawaii

emperorcosa / Shutterstock.com

State’s minimum wage: $10.10
Wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home: $38.76
Hours of work at minimum wage to afford that home: 153 hours a week

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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