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Old 10-01-2015, 10:55 AM
 
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Minnesota at No. 7 in terms of wealth. Vastly underrated state, with a lot to offer, at reasonable prices.

Maine is a beautiful state, and has pockets of wealth/middle class prosperity, but rural areas lag far behind..
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:21 AM
 
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Looking at states isn't a good idea, as they can vary. This may give a better idea: Here are the most and least expensive cities to live in

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...s/download.pdf

U.S. Median Household Income Metro Area Rank Based on ACS 2006-2010 data* (You can view a little bit more recent info(2008-2012) by clicking on the area)
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Looking at states isn't a good idea, as they can vary. This may give a better idea: Here are the most and least expensive cities to live in

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...s/download.pdf

U.S. Median Household Income Metro Area Rank Based on ACS 2006-2010 data* (You can view a little bit more recent info(2008-2012) by clicking on the area)
Cities vary, as well. In fact, you won't see greater variations of rich and poor than in a large metro. Outstate/rural, there's always far more consistency. Think about in every older city where a "gritty" old neighborhood butts up against a "prestigious" old neighborhood. Incredible variation, same city, a zip code apart. One "ghetto," one wealthy.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Cities vary, as well. In fact, you won't see greater variations of rich and poor than in a large metro. Outstate/rural, there's always far more consistency. Think about in every older city where a "gritty" old neighborhood butts up against a "prestigious" old neighborhood. Incredible variation, same city, a zip code apart. One "ghetto," one wealthy.
Right, which is why, I believe, states are at least a somewhat better way of trying to capture the large variations between different small municipalities, but of course, even a state-wide metric isn't perfect and arguably not an "apples-to-apples" comparison due to variations between states.

Overall, I think it's just important for people to realize that "wealth" is very relative and nuanced. A list of the 10 "richest" and 10 "poorest" states, based only on raw income numbers, is just too simplistic in an age where cost-of-living varies more than ever.
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Old 10-02-2015, 02:33 PM
 
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I always take those with a grain of salt since they don't factor in cost of living. Someone from the Midwest or South is much more capable of owning a big house and lots of land than somebody from the Northeast or West, even considering lower wages.
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:00 PM
 
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Definitely have to adjust for cost of living. Also keep in mind many people in NJ/CT are NYC commuters with high salaries. Same for Northern Va and Bethesda-area Maryland with DC.
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I was curious myself, also, so I tracked down 2014 numbers from the Census Bureau's latest Current Population Survey for 2014 median household income and divided it by the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center (MERIC's) cost-of-living index 2014 average for each state (for an apples-to-apples comparison). The results are pretty interesting--literally all over the map. For example, the adjusted MHI for NY is shockingly the lowest in the US. California and Hawaii are also in the bottom 10.

Sorry for the rough cut-and-paste, but you can get the gist:

State | MHI-Census Current Population Survey | COLI (2014 Annual Average-MERIC)| Adjusted MHI
Utah 63,383 92.2 68,745.12
Virginia 66,155 97 68,201.03
Minnesota 67,244 101.5 66,250.25
Maryland 76,165 118.9 64,058.03
New Hampshire 73,397 115.6 63,492.21
Iowa 57,810 92.5 62,497.30
Nebraska 56,870 92 61,815.22
Missouri 56,630 93.3 60,696.68
North Dakota 60,730 100.7 60,307.85
Colorado 60,940 101.3 60,157.95
Wisconsin 58,080 97.5 59,569.23
Wyoming 55,690 93.6 59,497.86
Idaho 53,438 90.2 59,243.90
Kansas 53,444 92 58,091.30
Texas 53,875 92.8 58,054.96
Washington 59,068 103.2 57,236.43
Illinois 54,916 96.1 57,144.64
Michigan 52,005 91.8 56,650.33
Delaware 57,522 104.8 54,887.40
Pennsylvania 55,173 102.1 54,038.20
Georgia 49,555 92.9 53,342.30
Indiana 48,060 90.4 53,163.72
Ohio 49,644 94.1 52,756.64
Oklahoma 47,199 90.8 51,981.28
South Dakota 53,053 102.3 51,860.22
New Jersey 65,243 126.7 51,494.08
Massachusetts 63,151 123.4 51,175.85
Vermont 60,708 119 51,015.13
Alaska 67,629 133.2 50,772.52
Montana 51,102 100.8 50,696.43
New Mexico 46,686 92.4 50,525.97
Arizona 49,254 100.2 49,155.69
Nevada 49,875 101.6 49,089.57
Tennessee 43,716 89.3 48,954.09
Arkansas 44,922 92.2 48,722.34
North Carolina 46,784 96.5 48,480.83
Connecticut 70,161 145.2 48,320.25
Rhode Island 58,633 122.4 47,902.78
Oregon 58,875 125.1 47,062.35
Kentucky 42,786 91 47,017.58
California 60,487 128.7 46,998.45
South Carolina 44,929 95.6 46,996.86
Maine 51,710 110.1 46,966.39
Florida 46,140 99.8 46,232.46
Alabama 42,278 92 45,954.35
Louisiana 42,406 95 44,637.89
Hawaii 71,223 163.9 43,455.16
Mississippi 35,521 85.9 41,351.57
West Virginia 39,552 96.9 40,817.34
New York 54,310 133.3 40,742.69
Something is wonky with that. Two separate studies find Utah at the bottom in terms of Median Disposable Income which is a true measure in my opinion of financial comfort level. Many bemoan the "high cost" of living in places like the Northeast or California but the fact of the matter is that a good majority live pretty well there, including obviously most of the residents of Washington DC.

http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lpa...ncpov/dpci.htm
Which States' Residents Have the Most Cash to Spend? -- The Motley Fool
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Something is wonky with that. Two separate studies find Utah at the bottom in terms of Median Disposable Income which is a true measure in my opinion of financial comfort level. Many bemoan the "high cost" of living in places like the Northeast or California but the fact of the matter is that a good majority live pretty well there
Your links, while they have some merit, are based on average, or per capita, disposable income, not median, which is more indicative of the "common person."

As I noted before, I think the difference between high-cost/high-income coastal states, versus lower-cost/moderate-income Midwestern states, is a more robust middle-class in the latter.

Certainly states like New York and California have a higher proportion of pretty high-income folks where cost-of-living is meaningless, and the super high incomes of a relatively small portion of the population (i.e., the Wall Street and Silicon Valley crowds) is what creates a higher average disposable income.

Overall, it's abundantly clear, considering the data I cited, that these states just aren't super friendly to middle-income folks. Even with higher median household incomes, it still doesn't go as far for a household earning in the 50th percentile compared to those of most other states.

Last edited by Duderino; 10-04-2015 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Your links, while they have some merit, are based on average, or per capita, disposable income, not median, which is more indicative of the "common person."

As I noted before, I think the difference between high-cost/high-income coastal states, versus lower-cost/moderate-income Midwestern states, is a more robust middle-class in the latter.

Certainly states like New York and California have a higher proportion of pretty high-income folks where cost-of-living is meaningless, and the super high incomes of a relatively small portion of the population (i.e., the Wall Street and Silicon Valley crowds) is what creates a higher average disposable income.

Overall, it's abundantly clear, considering the data I cited, that these states just aren't super friendly to middle-income folks. Even with higher median household incomes, it still doesn't go as far for a household earning in the 50th percentile compared to those of most other states.
It could be pointed out that , actually, much of New York state is quite affordable. It's just that segment in the far southeastern corner that's beyond the reach of most Americans..
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
It could be pointed out that , actually, much of New York state is quite affordable. It's just that segment in the far southeastern corner that's beyond the reach of most Americans..
That's a fair point. It's just that the nexus of New York's economy, and thus the overwhelming majority of its lucrative opportunities, is the NYC metro. Ditto LA and the SF Bay Area for California.

If you're someone who's lucky enough to make a hefty salary and can work remotely, I think it makes perfect sense to cash-in on a much less expensive area.

This really speaks to another issue that our country, and really the world, is facing in terms of extreme concentration of wealth and economic opportunity in select urban centers/regions. That's a whole other conversation entirely, though.

Last edited by Duderino; 10-05-2015 at 11:53 AM..
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