National Consumer News

5 states where $100 will go the furthest


By Theo Thimou,

In a time when we’re all trying to find our economic foothold in a post-recession America, many people are assessing where they want to live and where they can make their money go the furthest.

Americans have always been a migratory people. When the chance to follow opportunity arises, we’ve historically taken it. So if you’re thinking it might be time to move on to greener economic pastures, you might want to consider the following states.

Where does $100 go the furthest?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has done a new survey of the states where $100 goes the furthest. The winning states include:

  • Mississippi ($115.34)
  • Arkansas ($114.29)
  • Alabama ($113.90)
  • South Dakota ($113.64)
  • Kentucky ($112.74)

The BEA refers to price fluctuations across states and regions as “regional price parities.”

On the flip side, the states where the cost of living is the highest and you get less value for your $100 include:

  • District of Columbia ($84.67)
  • Hawaii ($85.62)
  • New York ($86.43)
  • New Jersey ($87.34)
  • California ($88.97)

What’s up with those dollar amounts in parenthesis?

You may be wondering about the dollar figures next to the state names. Consider this by way of explanation from the Tax Foundation’s blog

If $100 buys you $115 of spending power, as it does in Mississippi, the average state resident is living 15% richer than their income suggests. That’s what you can infer when you see those numbers.

Conversely, if you have $100 but can only buy $84 worth of goods and services, that puts your spending at a 16% economic disadvantage vs. the rest of the country. Such is the case in the District of Columbia.

If you have a job offer in another city and are thinking about moving, offers a feature where you can plug in the salary and see where that puts you as far as affording everyday life.

Here’s a complete map so you can get a lay of the land:

States Where Your Money Goes the Furthest

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