Visualized: How Much Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every State

June 14, 2024

After a few years of high inflation, the cost of living in America has gotten higher across the country. Still, the amount needed to comfortably raise a family varies greatly from state to state.

To give a sense of how much the cost of living varies, our friends at Visual Capitalist have compiled an infographic highlighting the cost of comfortably raising a family of four. “Comfortably” in this case is defined as both parents working and bringing in a combined income sufficient to cover a 50/30/20 budget, where 50% of income is allocated to necessities like housing, utilities, and transportation, 30% is spent in discretionary spending like entertainment, and 20% goes to savings or investments.

Housing costs are the largest differentiator between states. States like Massachusetts ($301,184) and Hawaii ($294,611) lead the nation in cost of living, while states like Mississippi ($177,798) and Arkansas ($180,794), where housing is much cheaper, are the most affordable.

A map showing the income that two working adults with two children need to live comfortably in each U.S. state.

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