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Can you afford to live where you are? The answer depends on two factors — your earnings and the cost of living in your area.

The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. Some states and cities set their minimum wages higher — including many states that have increased their minimum wages this year, as we detail in “The Minimum Wage in Every State in 2022.”

The cost of living varies a great deal across the country. But even in lower-cost areas, a minimum-wage job is not enough to support oneself, much less a family.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning calculates a “living wage” for each state and the District of Columbia that take into account the costs in each area. We used MIT’s newly updated Living Wage Calculator for a state-by-state look at what it takes in 2022 to earn enough to enjoy a basic standard of living.

This ranking starts where the living wage is highest. See if you make a living wage for your state.

51. District of Columbia

Orhan Cam /

This district’s living wage for a household with:

One working adult: $23.13 per hour
One working adult and one child: $43.07 per hour
Two working adults: $16.45 per hour (per adult)
Two working adults…

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