How Much You Need to Make to Afford a Home in Each State

Millennials are increasingly opting to pay rent over mortgages as housing prices creep up across the country. But the American dream of owning a home is more realistic in some places than it is in others. According to this data visualization from the cost information site How Much, where you choose to live can save you tens of thousands of dollars on housing payments a year.

How Much calculated the salary you need to afford the average home in each state by running data from Zillow into a mortgage calculator. They assumed that homeowners would pay interest of 4 to 5 percent depending on the state, make a down payment of 10 percent, and spend 30 percent of their annual income on their mortgage. Based on these numbers, they found West Virginia to be the most affordable state to live in: There you only need to make $38,320 to own the average $149,500 home. Behind it is Ohio with a salary requirement of $38,400 and Michigan with a salary of $40,800. All the states where the minimum salary to own a home falls below $50,000 are located in the South, North-Atlantic, and Midwestern U.S.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii occupies the top slot. To afford an average house there, which goes for $610,000, you need to bring home an annual income of at least $153,520. Washington D.C., where you need to make $138,440 or more, is the second most expensive location for homeowners, followed by California with a minimum salary of $120,120.

If the map above doesn't make you feel any more optimistic about owning a home, check out this map from 2017 of the earnings needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment in each state.

Here's How Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Part of the Country

Andy Woodruff
Andy Woodruff

Daylight saving time was created to benefit Americans, but not every part of the country is affected equally. Within the Eastern time zone, for instance, the sun rises a whole 40 minutes earlier in New York City than it does in Detroit. To illustrate how daylight saving time impacts sunrise and sunset times around the county, cartographer Andy Woodruff published a series of helpful maps on his website.

Below, the map on the left depicts how many days of reasonable sunrise time—defined as 7 a.m. or earlier—each part of the country is getting. The regions in the yellow sections have the most days with early sunrises and the darker parts have the fewest. On the right, the second map shows how many sunsets past 5 p.m. we’re getting each year, which appear to be a lot more abundant

Next, he visualized what these sunrise and sunset times would look like if daylight saving were abolished completely, something many people have been pushing for years. While our sunset times remain pretty much the same, the mornings start to look a lot sunnier for people all over the country, especially in places like West Texas.

And for those of you who were curious, here’s what America would look like if daylight saving time were in effect year-round. While mornings would look miserable pretty much everywhere, there’d at least be plenty of sunshine to enjoy once we got off work.

You can tinker with an interactive version of the daylight saving map on Woodruff’s blog.

All images courtesy of Andy Woodruff.

This article originally ran in 2015.

The Most Popular Netflix Documentary in Each State

Netflix
Netflix

Before there was Making a Murderer, there was The Staircase. The true crime docuseries—which debuted in 2004 before making its way to Netflix in extended form—chronicles the 2001 death of Kathleen Peterson and the bizarre twists and turns of her husband Michael's subsequent murder trial. Though the extended version only arrived on the streaming service in June 2018, it's already America’s favorite Netflix documentary, according to a new analysis by DISH.

To map America's viewing habits, DISH figured out which Netflix Originals documentaries and docuseries had at least a 7.8 rating on IMDB, then plugged them into Google to track their search volume over the last year. The results reveal the geographic regions where Netflix viewers are dying to learn more about certain documentaries.

It’s perhaps no surprise that The Staircase, which left viewers with more questions than answers, is one of the top-searched series. It's the fan favorite in 12 states, including North Carolina, where the incident occurred. The 2016 documentary 13th follows closely behind as the most popular documentary in 11 states. Last Chance U (2016), Making a Murderer, and series The Toys That Made Us also made the top five.

Among the most popular documentaries, three are related to murder cases, three are related to the natural world, two are about the healthcare industry, and two are about the police and race relations. Others tell the story of specific events in history (like the time a cult overtook a sleepy town in Oregon) or cultural phenomena (like how certain toys shaped our childhoods).

Events that hit close to home also add another layer of fascination. This year's Flint Town is the most-searched documentary in Michigan, and Making a Murderer is a favorite in Wisconsin, where the events take place.

Keep scrolling to see the full breakdown by state, courtesy of DISH. Looking for something new to binge? Check out these 25 documentaries that you can stream right now. 

A map of the U.S. with icons showing the most popular documentaries there
DISH

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER