How much can $100 buy you? Well, it depends on where you live in the United States. On Monday, The Tax Foundation published a study that shows the real value of $100 in each state. The price of goods vary from state to state and so $100 may not go far where things are expensive like in Hawaii.
According to the Tax Foundation “Real purchasing power is 36 percent greater in Mississippi than it is in the District of Columbia.” So, if you have $50,000 in after tax income in Mississippi, you would have to have after-tax earnings of $68,000 in the District of Columbia in order to be able to keep up with the same standard of living.
Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Tax Foundation put together this map:
Here are the states where $100 is worth the most and least:
Mississippi ($115.21) Arkansas ($114.29) South Dakota ($114.16) Alabama ($114.03) and West Virginia ($113.12) District of Columbia ($84.96) Hawaii ($86.06) New York ($86.73) New Jersey ($87.34) and California ($89.05.)
Generally states with higher nominal incomes a (regular income that has not been adjusted down to correspond with decreasing purchase power or up to adjust for inflation) also have price levels that are higher because there is a relationship between the two: In places with higher incomes, the prices of resources like land get bid higher too. But places with high costs of living pay higher salaries for the same jobs (but as we all know that doesn’t happen in Hawaii). Labor economists call this a compensating differential – where the higher pay helps make up for the low purchasing power.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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