How Far Does $100 Go In Your State? Here’s A Map That Shows You

Price-Parity-2012When people ask me why I moved from NYC back to Philadelphia a few years ago, I usually just show them my mortgage statement — or the fact that I can even afford a mortgage at all — as evidence of the lower cost of living. Now I have a map that shows how much further my money goes here in Pennsylvania than it did in New York… and which also makes me think that maybe I should move to Mississippi.

Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Tax Foundation put together the above map illustrating the buying power of $100 in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The good news is that a majority of states are getting at least the full value for their $100, with 15 states seeing that cash worth at least $110. Most of these states are from the Appalachians west to the plains states.

One hundred bucks go the furthest in Mississippi ($115.74), Arkansas ($114.16), Missouri ($113.51), Alabama (113.51), and South Dakota ($113.38)

Then there are the states where your money just doesn’t go as far as it could. With the exception of PA, every state up the coast from Virginia to New Hampshire comes in below the $100 line, with D.C. ($84.60) providing the least bang for folks’ buck.

The state with the lowest value for your $100 is Hawaii ($85.32), followed by New York ($86.66), New Jersey ($87.64), and California ($88.57).

[via WaPo]

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  1. Xenotaku says:

    I’d be curious to know if state, local, and sales tax are included in the numbers. I see that OR is about $5 different from WA, and I’m wondering how much OR’s state income tax vs. WA’s sales tax is affecting that.

    • DyinMyelin says:

      It definitely feels like $100 goes much further in FL than PA. The state sales tax is identical but there is no state taxes in FL, and you get more bang for your real estate buck. I’ve also found the property taxes to be higher in Philadelphia than FL for again, much less quality. The cost of living is higher in PA with more expensive goods and the additional costs of heating in winter. My business is based out of FL and I work in the public sector in Philadelphia, which optimizes the benefits of at will/business friendly climate vs. entrenched unionization.

  2. SingleMaltGeek says:

    I thought this was a great concept, but I was also disappointed that all of NYS was lumped in as one, when NYC (and adjacent counties) obviously have a much higher cost of living than the rest of the state. Western and northern NYS are pretty affordable, really. But it’s a start, like a domestic Big Mac Index.

    • furiousd says:

      I, too, would like to get access to some GIS data that gives county- or neighborhood-level accuracy for this data.

  3. OrionBFury says:

    “With the exception of PA, every state up the coast from Virginia to New Hampshire comes in below the $100 line.”

    So Rhode Island isn’t on the coast between Virginia and New Hampshire?