Marian Weyo/shutterstockIf you’ve been wondering about the cost of living in your area compared with the rest of the country, a new Tax Foundation analysis has the answer. Its economic experts looked at how far $100 goes in each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.—and not surprisingly, the study found big disparities. Drum roll please…
The state where $100 buys the most is Mississippi, where it will get you $116.01 worth of stuff.
The state where $100 buys the least is Hawaii, where your $100 is only worth $84.18.
If you’re planning a trip and aren’t sure where to go, you might want to consider the local “exchange rate”—something we’re used to looking at before we travel abroad, but not domestically. Other states where your money is worth the most are Alabama ($115.21), Arkansas ($114.42), South Dakota ($113.38), and Kentucky ($112.87).
— Tax Foundation (@taxfoundation) August 9, 2017
But if you’re contemplating places to relocate, keep in mind that local salaries are typically on par with the cost of living. That means that places with higher costs of living generally see higher wages for jobs that pay less in other areas where the cost of living is lower. The other priciest areas, after Hawaii, are Washington, D.C. ($85.47), New York ($86.73), California and New Jersey (both $88.18)
One notable exception is North Dakota, which has been attracting increasing numbers of tech companies and others—and paying relatively higher salaries in a state where the cost of living is relatively low. Your $100 gets you $108.34 there, while its salaries can be on par with New York, where your Benjamin is worth more than $20 less. North Dakota also one of the happiest states, due in part to its solid economic standing.