How Much Is Really a ‘Living Wage’ in Every State?

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Can you afford to live where you are? The answer depends on two factors — your earnings and the cost of living in your area.

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. Some states and a few cities set their minimum wages higher.

The cost of living varies a great deal across the country. Even in lower-cost areas, a minimum wage job may not be enough to support a family.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning calculates a living wage for each state and the District of Columbia that takes into account the costs in each. We used MIT’s updated Living Wage Calculator for a state-by-state look at what it takes in 2020 to earn enough to enjoy a basic standard of living.

This slideshow starts where the living wage is highest. See if you make a living wage for your state.

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