Whether you’re a recent college graduate deciding where to begin your professional life or a seasoned professional looking for a change, it’s important to consider how much it actually costs to live where you want to settle. Thinking about starting anew in the Big Apple or relocating to our nation’s capital? Before you pack your bags, you might want to take a look at the map above.
Career website Zippia has created a map of the living wage in every U.S. state. Using MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, Zippia calculated how much it would cost to support two adults and one child in each state. The results, unsurprisingly, varied wildly. Washington D.C., Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York proved to be the most expensive, with minimum incomes ranging from $59,128 to $68,000. By contrast, in the least expensive states—Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia—you can support yourself, a partner, and a child for just under $45,000.
The map also reveals a few patterns: The East and West Coasts are by far the priciest, while the South is the least expensive. Of course, career opportunities and average income also vary from state to state, so while this map serves as a great starting point, it’s important to look at the big picture before you choose where to move.