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Salary a single person needs to make ends meet in every U.S. state


If you’re thinking of living on your own, you’ll need to make about $45,000 per year in most states just to get by.

That’s roughly the median income needed to cover basic expenses, according to a new analysis by SmartAsset, which looked at estimates for housing, transportation, health care, taxes and other common expenses, as tracked by the MIT Living Wage calculator.

However, the amount of money you need to make ends meet can vary significantly depending on where you live. That is largely due to housing prices and taxes, which vary the most out of the basic expenses examined. In states such as Massachusetts, California and Hawaii, estimated housing costs are more than double that of states with the lowest basic cost of living.

Here is a look at five states where single individuals need to earn the most to cover basic expenses:

  1. Massachusetts: $58,009
  2. Hawaii: $56,841
  3. California: $56,825
  4. New York: $55,878
  5. Washington: $53,242

Keep in mind that these calculations only account for necessities and do not include discretionary spending such as travel or entertainment, or investment contributions.

You would need to earn about $28 per hour over a 40-hour work week to bring in the $58,009 annual income required to get by in Massachusetts. In contrast, you would only need to earn about $19 per hour in West Virginia, which has the lowest annual income needed to get by at $39,386.

However, in many states, the minimum wage is still only $7.25 per hour. That is just about a third of what people need to get by in most states. To cover basic expenses, minimum wage workers are often reliant on tips, or are forced to cut costs in other ways. Even in states where the minimum wage is higher than $7.25, it is often still not commensurate with the estimated living wage.

Here is a look at the minimum income a single person needs to get by in every U.S. state.

Alabama

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $41,911

Alaska

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $48,375

Arizona

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $48,677

Arkansas

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $39,724

California

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $56,825

Colorado

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $51,644

Connecticut

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $50,194

Delaware

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $47,064

Florida

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $46,645

Georgia

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $48,448

Hawaii

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $56,841

Idaho

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $44,366

Illinois

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $47,559

Indiana

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $42,510

Iowa

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $41,678

Kansas

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $42,337

Kentucky

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $40,355

Louisiana

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $41,233

Maine

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $45,844

Maryland

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $51,460

Massachusetts

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $58,009

Michigan

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $42,187

Minnesota

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $44,626

Mississippi

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $41,361

Missouri

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $42,024

Montana

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $42,374

Nebraska

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $41,849

Nevada

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $46,727

New Hampshire

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $49,045

New Jersey

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $51,504

New Mexico

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $41,807

New York

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $55,878

North Carolina

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $44,848

North Dakota

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $40,262

Ohio

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $40,359

Oklahoma

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $40,211

Oregon

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $50,553

Pennsylvania

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $45,661

Rhode Island

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $50,418

South Carolina

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $44,152

South Dakota

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $40,718

Tennessee

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $43,196

Texas

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $43,508

Utah

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $46,850

Vermont

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $47,892

Virginia

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $49,973

Washington

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $53,242

West Virginia

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $39,386

Wisconsin

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $42,062

Wyoming

  • Annual living wage for a single person: $43,823

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