Here's How Much You Have To Earn To Afford Rent In Every State.


This map shows how much you’d need to earn to rent a 2 bedroom apartment in each of the states in the US.

There’s nothing more certain in life that death, taxes and… rent? According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, or HLIHC, an average American family needs to earn at least $20.30 an hour to be able to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, but we all know that life is getting more expensive by the hour.

Any economist will tell you that you shouldn’t spend more than 1/3 of your income on rent, but seriously, much like anything in life, it’s easier said than done! Especially when all the good jobs are taken, and so many folks are barely making minimum wage. Some kindred spirits are willing to pay some of the highest costs of rent in states like New York, and California, while others make their way to cheaper states like Missouri and Montana, where the cost of living is so cheap, it kind of makes up for not being close to the beach. Here’s how much money you have to make per hour in every state.

They say you should spend 1/3 of your salary on rent, and even though it’s pretty hard, particularly in this economy. The federal government mandates a nation-wide minimum wage of $7.25, but we all know it’s pretty hard to live on that income. Whether you’re looking to relocate in a different state because you’re looking for new opportunities, or you can’t keep up with the rising costs of your hometown, this map will help you plan accordingly, with a state-by-state comparison and how much you’d have to make by the hour in order to afford to live in every state.

Moving to Alabama and becoming a fan of the “Crimson Tide” can be pretty easy.

Their famous football team will give you an excuse to drink on a Saturday morning, and all you need to do is earn just a measly $13.93 per hour. Pretty rocking!

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Alaska is a great destination for people who want the isolation and remoteness, far away from the drama.

It’s not cheap though. Get a job that pays $23.25 and you too can enjoy the cold scenery while you go on fishing trips and gaze at those pesky grizzly bears stealing your fish.

Arizona’s Grand Canyon might be just a giant hole in the ground, but hundreds of families flock to this stunning canyon every year.

You too can enjoy this spectacular natural wonder if you get a job that pays $17.18 per hour. Hey, with those views and desert wonders, it’s damn worth it!


Arkansas has earned its “The Natural State” nickname because of its incredible natural landscapes and breathtaking views.

Rejuvenate yourself and your hips in their world famous Hot Springs National Park with a job that pays you $13.26 per hour. Cheap and beautiful? We’re so in!

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California has spectacular Malibu beaches, beautiful tanned blondes, and Hollywood glamour on every corner.

There’s nothing we can say that hasn’t been said already in countless songs and movies. California is the “hip” state and all its charm and glory will cost you a dear penny: $28.29 per hour to be exact is what you need if you want to move to the golden coast.

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Everyone knows why you’re considering moving to Colorado. You want to be high and we’re not just talking about rock climbing!

Colorado has legalized marijuana consumption for adults and this has seen an influx of people moving to the aptly named “Highest State." You need to earn $21.12 per hour to live here and then some more to afford all that cannabis.

Earning $24.72 per hour is all you need to pay rent here and be a proud Connecticuter.

When they’re asked if they would rather live in NY since they’re so close, the answer is always “no,” so there must be something to the state.

Every proud American would be thrilled to live in its nation’s capital, the District of Columbia.

The cost of living there isn’t as cheap as in other states, however. You’ll need wages of $31.21 per hour just to have a roof over your head, making it one of the more expensive states.

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Delaware was nicknamed the “Diamond State” by Thomas Jefferson because of its “small size but great value.”

And if you’re a history buff or just want to enjoy their breweries you too can live in the first state of the Union if you can get a job that pays at least $21.70


Florida has been referred to as the "Sunshine State" and where old people go to retire.

But with gorgeous beaches, a nice warm weather and Disney World just around the corner, who wouldn’t want to move there to live out the rest of their days? Just be sure to have a job that pays $19.96 per hour, though.


Georgia might not be in many people’s radar but it boasts beautiful landscapes and the nicest people.

With its historical landmarks, beautiful parks, botanical gardens, beaches, and museums, the “Peach State” can be your home town too if you get paid $16.30 per hour.

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Island life is a great life and Hawaii is a beautiful vacation destination, but you can also try to make your luck in this dreamy state.

From volcanoes to beaches, Hawaii has it all. But if you want to sport the leis and grass skirts forever and dance next to those cute hula girls, you better start earning a whopping $34.22 per hour. Yup!

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Idaho, the gem of the mountains and a sight to see. But careful, it might take your breath away! Actual gems are also what put Idaho on the map.

Its famous Coeur d'Alene is one of the most breathtaking mountain lakes in the US, highlighted by crystal clear waters and cliffs and pines along its shorelines. The mountain life can be yours for just $14.22 per hour.

Move to Iowa and you can have an input on the country’s next presidential candidates thanks to its caucuses.

Iowa is also one of the major contributors to the agricultural output of the country, especially corn. Don’t be corny and move here for a flat $14.03 per hour. It’s indeed, one of the cheapest states on the list.

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Illinois is a state of firsts and home of the Windy City, Chicago.

For $19.98 per hour you too can live in the first state to abolish slavery, the place where the first African-American president started his career, and the land of the world’s first aquarium and skyscrapers were built.

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Indiana has a natural beauty few other states can match.

Rent an apartment here with a wage of $14.84, and then leave the city to visit its plethora of breathtaking wild sceneries. It boasts immensely vast wildlife and over 100 different species of trees that make this state a pleasure for those who are outdoorsy at heart.

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Renting an apartment in Kansas will take $15.01 per hour from your monthly wage, but it’ll be worth it.

Explore the streets of Massachusetts, the Museum of World Treasures, attend a NASCAR event at the Kansas Speedway or just admire the Oz Museum in Wamego. With these and many, many more attractions, you won’t ever want to say “you’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Kentucky is home of the fried chicken thanks to a certain “general.”

But it’s also known for its really, really good bourbon. So, raise your glass and enjoy some of its derbies and distilleries that are waiting for the most exquisite palates. There’s also a good variety of national parks and historical museums, right around the corner to your apartment, which will require you have a job that pays $14.10 per hour.

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Jazz it up in a retro, historical bar of Louisiana, the “Pelican State” and home of incredibly rich culture.

There’s no better place to enjoy some jazz or attend the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans. Louisiana is the birthplace of one of the most influential musical genres of all time and you can tell. Get paid above $15.81 per hour and you too can be a part of it.

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Maine has a diverse landscape ranging from rocky coastline to hardwood forests to the largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains.

If you like to get up early, the city of Eastport is considered to be the first place to receive sunlight each day on the continental United States. Be an early bird and get the worm with a job that pays at least $17.04 per hour.


Get stuffed on crab soup and crab cakes in Maryland and smile from ear to ear.

Home of the national anthem and housing many attractions like Fort McHenry and the National Aquarium, the “Crab State” will win your heart and your stomach too. Just be sure to earn at least $26.53 per hour to afford this lifestyle.


The beautiful city of Boston is located in Massachusetts and so Is Martha’s Vineyard.

Learn and experience our nation’s independence with the Freedom Trail in Boston. A road that takes you to 16 different locations that play a key part in the history of the US. Or maybe you can learn about the Salem trials in the Peabody Essex Museum if you like to get a little kooky. In any case, get a job that pays $25.91 and you can do that and more in “The Spirit Of America.”


Michigan houses the city of Detroit, the “Car Capital of the World."

But Michigan is home to the Great Lakes and 3,288 miles of shoreline as well. Lake Fenton is a sight to see and Lake Michigan is simply stunning. Earning $15.62 per hour can get you an apartment in this beautiful state.

Minnesota is the birthplace of the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, so do you need any other reason to move there?

In all seriousness, what better place to enjoy some good ol’ capitalism than with the Mall of America, a huge shopping complex complete with a theme park. And speaking of theme parks, why not visit the Nickelodeon Universe with your kids and take them to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory afterwards? All these family friendly attractions will require you to have a $17.76 per hour job at the very least if you ever plan on living there.

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Besides having a long and complicated name, Mississippi is called “The Birthplace of America’s Music” because blues was born in this state.

Besides the soulful bluesmen of Mississippi, one of the very first rockstars was born here too, the King himself, Elvis Presley. What’s all this musical influence in your life going to cost you? A mere $14.07/hour pay rate and you’re set!

Missouri is home to more than 6.100 caves, but it’s also one of the cheapest states to live in.

With a minimum wage of $7.70, an average family makes around $2500 dollars. While the cost of rent is somewhere between $540 dollars to $850, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of extra moolah to spend at the end of the month.


Montana is known as the “Big Sky Country” with its unobstructed skyline that overwhelms the breathtaking views, and it’s also one of the more affordable states to live in.

While minimum wage rates go for $8.15 per hour, the average household must earn $14.60 an hour to afford to look at the gorgeous landscapes and open skies if they want to only spend 1/3 of their income on rent.


With their $9.00 an hour minimum wage rates, Nebraska boasts a pretty steady economy.

With more miles of river than any other state in the US, Nebraska is one of largest exporters of agricultural products. At $9.00 an hour, the average family makes around $1800 to $2000 a month. But if you want to spend very little money on rent, then this is your state, as the Fair Market Rent suggests you’d need $14.45 an hour to afford it.

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Nevada is known for its infamous parties in the desert, and it’s home to incredible casinos and legal brothels that contrast the breathtaking desert views.

But it’s also more on the high end spectrum of housing rentals, as the Fair Market Rent suggests you’d need to earn $18.26 in order to afford Sin City. Some may say it’s damn worth it.

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New Hampshire’s known for being the “Granite State” due to the extensive granite quarries all over the state.

It is also one of the 9 states in the country that is considered to be “tax free” which is great news if you were considering this lovely state to be your next home. The bad news is that in order to support yourself in this gorgeous place packed with beautiful history and beautiful landscapes, you’ll need to make $21.09 an hour. Ouch.

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New Jersey isn’t just filled with guidos and guidettes, and mega tanned teenagers roaming the beaches like you saw on "Jersey Shore."

It’s the diner capital of the world, with the Taylor Ham/ Pork Roll being their most famous dish. But if you’re looking into getting crazy and hitting the beach in a state where everyone boasts a lovely accent, you’ll need to make at least $26.52 according to the Fair Market Rent.

New Mexico, the backdrop of hit TV show "Breaking Bad", boasts the most PhDs per capita than in any other state!

With its beautiful White Sands National Monument, and the jaw-dropping Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico is a pretty affordable state when it comes to rent costs. You’ll need to make $16.06 per hour to afford a comfy two-bedroom apartment.


What’s not to love about a city that never sleeps?

New York, also known as the Big Apple, and probably, one of the most internationally loved states in the world is pretty costly. If you’re planning on renting a simple two-bedroom apartment, you’d need to make at least $26,69 to afford rent, plus a little extra to go to all those Broadway plays!


North Carolina boasts some of the most wonderful national parks, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway.

All those visits to the mountains won’t be costly though, as you only need $15,32 to afford rent in this state that was home to great writers such as Thomas Wolfe, Anne Tyler, and so much more.

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At $15.66 per hour, you’d be able to accommodate yourself and your family in North Dakota, a land that has no shortage of spring wheat, barley, oats, honey, and flaxseed.

Needless to say, breakfasts are packing a nutritional punch in North Dakota, home to the Painted Canyon and the uber cute prairie dogs, bison, and elf than run free at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

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Home to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Ohio is, oddly enough, the birthplace of 7 presidents and 24 astronauts.

It can also become your new home if you plan on living in a state where you’d only need to make $14.13 per hour.


Once Indian Territory, Oklahoma is home to some of the best American cooking.

The official state meal is mainly cornbread, fried okra, squash, biscuits, barbecue pork, gravy, corn, grits and pecan pie. Needless to say, you’ll never go hungry in a land that knows how to celebrate Thanksgiving, all day, every day! Particularly when it only costs $14.33 to live there!


Oregon’s official state nut is the hazelut, and you’d have to be pretty much nuts if you pass on the chance to live in a state that’s full of quirky traditions, and natural wonders.

While you do need $19.38 an hour to afford housing and living in Oregon, you do get to live in a state that is home to the only leprechaun colony, as Portlanders claim you can see invisible leprechauns at Mills End Park.


The Declaration of Independence made the state of Pennsylvania a great historical site, but so did its cheesesteaks and tons of American junk food.

In order to munch on all those goodies, you need $18.27 to afford housing and living expenses. So if you’re on a low carb diet, you might as well pass.


If you’re into sightseeing and living near parks packed with beautiful natural museums, festivals and opulent late 1800s mansions such as “The Breakers,” a Vanderbilt mansion decorated with ornate artwork, then Rhode Island could definitely be your homestate.

At $19.06 per hour, you’d not only be surrounded by culture, but have access to the Rhode Island School of Design and the Mohegan Bluffs.


South Carolina is home to the best home-cooked meals and it’s also the location where the first battle of the Civil War took place.

At $14.84 you’ll be able to learn a lot of history while munching on some homecooked peach pie, as the cost of living is pretty low, and their beautiful Missisipi river makes this an ideal destination.


South Dakota, the state that features the highest mountains of the Rockies, home of the iconic Mount Rushmore.

At $13.77 per hour, you’d be able to afford comfortable accommodations, and live in a state that’s packed with historical memorials and beautiful landscapes.

Mount Rushmore National Monument

Everything’s bigger in Tennessee. Okay, okay, so that’s Texas, but Tennessee is also loaded with huge national parks, Graceland, which is Elvis’ former home, and Dollywood, an Appalachian-themed amusement park.

And with only $14.99 per hour, you’d get to live in a state where there’s always some attraction you must visit. From watching the fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains, to checking out the Bell Witch Cave, there’s always a reason to stay active.


Now if we’re talking about big, nothing is bigger than Texas. With a population of 27.47 million, and the biggest burgers and steaks in the country, this is one place that holds nothing back.

You’d need $17.60 to support yourself and your bigass apartment in this bigass state that is home to the San Antonio River.


Utah is known for boasting a large community of Mormons (actually, 62.64%).

But it’s also surrounded by immense beauty. Bryce Canyon National Park will take your breath away, while the Zion National Park will haunt you forever (in a good way). It’s a good thing all you need to rent an apartment is $16.32 bucks! Yay!


If you’re looking to ski, stay at 5-star ski resorts, or fish in the Lake Champlain you’re in for a treat if you head to Vermont.

That is, if you can afford to make $21.13 an hour to pay for rent and extra expenses. The views are worth it, though!

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The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah National Park are located in beautiful Virginia, a beautiful state for those with an outdoorsy heart.

But if you can’t afford to make $22.44 an hour, you’re better off steering clear from this state. The cost of living is expensive, where an average studio apartment will set you back $1.272 bucks.

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If you’re a lover of arts, politics, and culture, look no further than Washington D.C.

The United States Capitol, the legendary home of the US legislature is part of this state’s immense historical culture. If you’re an arts enthusiast, you’d get to head on to the Smithsonian Institution, and if you feel like waving hello to the current president, you’d be able to do so if you walk near the White House. But living in such a culturally-rich state is costly. You need $23.13 to live there.

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There are many fun things to do in West Virginia like base jumping and river climbing in the New River Gorge Bridge.

Which you’ll be able to afford, with many other attractions waiting to entice you, as you’d only need $13.17 an hour if you want to stay and make it in West Virginia.


“America’s Dairyland,” Winsconsin, is known for its cheese since they began production back in the 1800s.

To this day, the dairy industry keep Wisconsin on the map. There’s a lot more to do in the dairy state, like visiting the Devil’s Lake Park, or going caving at the Cave Of The Mounds, and with only $15.52 per hour, you’d get a fresh new start in the state of adventures.


In Wyoming, there’s a bunch of outdoorsy attractions waiting for those with a kindred heart.

The Yellowstone National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in America. The Grand National Park, Devils Tower and the legendary geyser, “Old Faithful” are all good reasons to move to Wyoming. That, and the $15.62 you need to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Not too shabby!