CLOSE
iStock
iStock

How Much You Need to Earn to Rent a Home in Each State

iStock
iStock

In 2010, New York City mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan made the slogan “the rent is too damn high” a rallying cry. Not much has changed since then—for most people, the rent is still far too high. According to a new report (featured on Digg), the average hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom home across the U.S. is $21.21, or around three times the federal minimum wage. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report on housing affordability, "Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing" [PDF] details just how much money the average renter needs in order to make rent easily. The figures are based on what the average family would have to earn in order to pay for a modest home using less than a third of their paycheck (a common standard for what’s "affordable" in housing; any more is considered "rent-burdened" [PDF]). The cost estimates are taken from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A color-coded map lists the hourly wage needed to afford a modest home in each state.
NLIHC

According to the report, even though many states have higher minimum wage laws than the federal government, "in no state, metropolitan area, or county can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. In only 12 counties can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest one-bedroom rental home." (The report doesn’t take into account places like Portland, where the minimum wage is higher than in other parts of Oregon.)

A county-by-county analysis of the hourly wage needed to afford a modest home in the U.S.
NLIHC

The National Low Income Housing Coalition calculates these figures anew every year, and for the most part, rental costs are continuing to rise across the country. Whereas you used to need $28.60 an hour to afford a two-bedroom in California, in 2017, you’ll need almost $31 an hour. Hope you're getting a raise this year. [h/t Digg]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
fun
How Common Is Your Birthday? An Interactive Map Can Tell You
iStock
iStock

by James Hunt

At some point in their life, everyone counts back from their birthday and tries to figure out what anniversary, special occasion, or other excuse might have happened to their parents nine months before they were born. To make this backtracking exercise easier—and give us the chance to do it for a much larger population—data journalist Matt Stiles created an interactive "heat map" showing the most common birthdays in the United States for individuals born between 1994 and 2014.

Click on the map and you'll quickly notice that July, August, and September are by far the most common birth months. It's no surprise that nine months prior you'll find the dark and rainy period of October, November, and December when—to put it delicately—people have to make their own entertainment.

According to Stiles, "People generally seem to have time for baby-making during their time off. Several of the most common birth dates, in September, correspond with average conception periods around Christmas. September 9 is most common in this dataset, though other days in that month are close. September 19 is second. Following a customary gestation period, many of these babies would, in theory, have been conceived on December 17 and December 27, respectively."

But that's not all we can tell from the chart. When you take into account the fact that some people get to choose their child's birthday because of induced and elective births, they tend to want to stay away from the hospital during understaffed holiday periods.

"The least common birthdays in this dataset were Christmas Eve, Christmas [Day], and New Year’s Day," Stiles concluded. "Dates around Thanksgiving aren’t as common. July 4 is also at the bottom of the list. Conversely, Valentine’s Day ranks relatively high, as you can see in the graphic, as are the days just before a new tax year begins."

Amazingly, though it only comes around every four years, Leap Year babies aren't as uncommon as you might think: February 29 ranked 347th out of 366 on the list.

You can play around with the interactive graphic, and see the full ranking of birthdays, here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Memory
iStock
iStock

Being cursed with a bad memory can yield snafus big and small, from forgetting your gym locker combination to routinely blowing deadlines. If your New Year's resolution was to be less forgetful in 2018, it's time to start training your brain. The infographic below, created by financial website Quid Corner and spotted by Lifehacker Australia, lists seven easy ways to boost memory retention.

Different techniques can be applied to different scenarios, whether you're preparing for a speech or simply trying to recall someone's phone number. For example, if you're trying to learn a language, try writing down words and phrases, as this activates your brain into paying more attention. "Chunking," or separating long digit strings into shorter units, is a helpful hack for memorizing number sequences. And those with a poetic bent can translate information into rhymes, as this helps our brains break down and retain sound structures.

Learn more tips by checking out the infographic below.

[h/t Lifehacker.com.au]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios