Our pals at Planet Money have put together an interactive graph showing median incomes in 356 metro areas using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and how far that income goes after adjusting for the cost of living.
After adjusting for cost of living, Rochester, Minn., has the country’s highest median wage. Bloomington, Ind., has the lowest.
When you adjust for the cost of living, the biggest absolute decline is in Washington, D.C.; the biggest rise is in Danville, Ill.
Here in red, what it looks like for me in NYC as compared to one of the cities I have considered living in—Asheville, North Carolina.
The thing about these exercises is that most people can’t keep their salaries and move to a cheaper city, though when it works out, it can really work out. Take the idea that the cost of living in Washington D.C. is bananas, for example. My interview with Billy, who gave up six figures to move somewhere cheaper, showed how effective cutting down your cost of living could be.
And you? How far does your paycheck go?