What $100 Is Really Worth in Your State

iStock
iStock

How far can you stretch your dollar? Depends on where you're located in the U.S. The Tax Foundation has taken data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to show the real value of $100 in each state. (We've also covered the D.C.-based think tank’s previously analyses, but the numbers changed ever-so-slightly year to year.)

The graphic below compares how much $100 is worth in goods compared to the national average. For instance, in high-price areas like California, New York, and D.C., your $100 is worth significantly less than the U.S. average—in those places, your money has the purchasing power of around $88.18, $86.70, and $85.47, respectively. If you live in Mississippi, meanwhile, your dollars go farther than in any other state. Your $100 is the equivalent of $116.01.

A color-coded map of the U.S. lists the real value of $100 in each state.
Tax Foundation

The data isn't surprising. People move from high-priced regions to cheaper areas of the country all the time. And it’s not just a matter of real estate. In Los Angeles, the average price of a beer is $3.64, but in New York, it’s $5.36, according to GoEuro’s annual Beer Index.

Cities, naturally, tend to be more expensive than rural places, so where you live within a state also has a pretty big impact. It’s much more expensive to live in Manhattan than to live in Syracuse, New York, or to live in Chicago versus downstate Illinois, as the Tax Foundation’s previous work has shown. This difference, however, is generally counter-balanced by the fact that expensive areas typically have higher salaries, too. Minimum wage laws, tax rates, and other factors also play a role.

It’s not just a theoretical exercise. A slight variation in the real value of your dollars can have a significant impact in your standard of living. The Tax Foundation explains:

Regional price differences are strikingly large; real purchasing power is 36 percent greater in Mississippi than it is in the District of Columbia. In other words, by this measure, if you have $50,000 in after-tax income in Mississippi, you would need after-tax earnings of $68,000 in the District of Columbia just to afford the same overall standard of living.

Each State’s Favorite 1990s Sitcom, Mapped

James Avery, Will Smith, and Janet Hubert in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
James Avery, Will Smith, and Janet Hubert in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
NBC Universal, Inc.

Between all the TV reboots currently happening and the nostalgia being drummed up by the anniversaries of hit shows like Seinfeld and Friends, the television experts at USDish, an authorized DISH Network retailer, had a simple question: Which 1990s sitcoms does each state love the most? For example: Does Oklahoma prefer Friends over Full House? (Nope, they like Frasier.)

To compile their data, the site used Ranker's top 15 shows and analyzed Google search traffic from 2004 to the present to see which TV shows each state has been searching for the most. Which means that, from the outset, the data was slightly skewed because it only looked at the shows that made the top of Ranker's list, which changes periodically—and, amazingly, doesn't include Seinfeld. Still, even when limited to just the 15 shows on Ranker's list, it's a fun exercise in nostalgia.

It’s no surprise that Friends ranks as the favorite sitcom in 12 states—the most states on the survey—but not New York state; they picked King of Queens. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Saved by the Bell each have six states, the second biggest majority. Some of the states’ preferences are scattered and aren’t concentrated in one region. For instance, California, Virginia, and Oregon went with The Simpsons, which is the only ‘90s sitcom on the survey that’s still producing episodes from its original run. (In 2018, it became the longest-running primetime scripted show ever.)

East Coast states New Hampshire and Connecticut love Everybody Loves Raymond, and Florida and Alabama adore The Nanny. Roseanne, Full House, and Boy Meets World are the only shows that appear in just one state: West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, respectively. Four of the 15 sitcoms have been rebooted: Roseanne, Sabrina, Boy Meets World, and Full House.

Of all the sitcoms on the list, though, Friends has proven to be the most unstoppable. On September 22, it turns 25 years old and will be the subject of all sorts of fun celebrations. In September and October, more than 1000 theaters will screen episodes of Friends over three different nights. If you want Friends memorabilia, consider the LEGO Central Perk studio set (out September 1), ordering Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Central Perk Coffee, or buying some of Pottery Barn’s Friends-inspired furniture (Rachel's apothecary table included).

You might be over Friends after the fall, but remember that Friends will leave Netflix for WarnerMedia-owned streaming service HBO Max in early 2020. Even still, Friends will be there for you.

Wednesday Was the Busiest Air Travel Day Ever Tracked

Flightradar24
Flightradar24

Because the skies are so expansive and airplanes fly at such high altitudes, you probably don’t spot more than a few flying machines on any given day (unless you live near an airport). So how many are actually in the sky ? On Wednesday, there were more than 225,000.

Flightradar24, a Swedish online service that monitors air traffic, tweeted that it registered more than 225,000 flights on Wednesday, July 24, between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. It’s the highest number tracked in one day since the company’s inception in 2006, Business Insider reports.

The figure comprises most aircraft, including regular commercial passenger flights as well as cargo planes, helicopters, private jets, gliders, sightseeing flights, and personal aircraft. It omits most military flights, however, which metaphorically fly under the radar.

Flightradar24 compiles data from publicly available sources that aircraft use to report position and speed. One of those sources is a traditional radar system, and the other two are newer tracking technologies called Multilateration (MLAT) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), where the in-flight transponder picks up the aircraft’s location from a GPS satellite and then transmits that information to Flightradar24’s receivers. MLAT requires four or more receivers and only works above about 3,000 to 10,000 feet, so ADS-B is the current best way to track location. It’s also the newest way, which means that not all aircraft are built with the transponder required to use it. That number is growing, though, which may be one of the reasons Flightradar24 was able to register so many flights on Wednesday.

Flightradar24 representative Ian Petchenik told Business Insider that another reason for Wednesday’s crowded skies is simply that there has been a steady rise in aircraft traffic over the years. Because of this increase, and because July and August are busy air traffic months in general, he predicted that the record could be broken again this week.

If the prospect of flying in heavy traffic makes you anxious, don’t worry: Airplanes are still the safest way to travel, and you can choose the safest seat to ease your nerves.

[h/t Business Insider]

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