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This Map Shows the Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Home in Every State

Unless you've lucked out with a dream subsidized housing scenario or managed to scoop up a beautiful home for $1, you're probably less-than-stoked at the size of the rent check you have to cut every month...

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Unless you've lucked out with a dream subsidized housing scenario or managed to scoop up a beautiful home for $1, you're probably less-than-stoked at the size of the rent check you have to cut every month. That's especially true if you live in a market where real estate prices have skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, the harsh reality is that there's not a single state, county, or city in America where a full-time worker earning minimum wage can afford to rent a two-bedroom home, according to bleak statistics revealed in a new housing report.

The gloomy new report comes courtesy of the folks at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which has been analyzing the growing gap between renters' earnings and monthly rent costs for the last 30 years. This year's troubling study reveals the gap has grown even further and that there's not a single place in America where a person working full-time on a minimum wage income can afford to rent a modest two-bedroom home without spending more than 30% of their earnings on housing costs (when you pay 30% or more you qualify as a "housing cost-burdened" renter).

To make the glut of intel a bit easier to understand, the NLICH also distilled the report into a nifty interactive map, which shows the hourly wage one must earn in each state in order to afford the "fair market" rent on a two-bedroom home there ("fair market" is defined as what a family can expect to pay for a modestly priced rental in a particular area in 2019). The map also reveals how many hours of work at the minimum wage are required to afford a two-bedroom without spending 30% or more of your income on it, as well as where each state ranks in relation to others.

NLIHC

Topping the list as the most expensive state for renters right now is Hawaii, where you need to earn $36.82 an hour -- or nearly $77,000 per year -- to afford renting a two-bedroom. That's compared to the least expensive state, Arkansas, where you'd need to earn $14.26 an hour (or roughly $30,000 annually) to afford the same thing. Keep in mind that while minimum wages do differ from state to state, federally it is just $7.25 an hour. 

Here's the full ranking of states (along with Washington, DC), from least to most expensive:

51. Arkansas -- $14.26
50. West Virginia -- $14.27
49. Mississippi -- $14.43
48. Kentucky -- $14.84
47. Alabama -- $14.92
46. South Dakota -- $15.30
45. Iowa -- $15.44
44. Idaho -- $15.47
43. Oklahoma -- $15.54
42. Ohio -- $15.73
41. Kansas -- $15.92
40. Montana -- $15.97
39. Missouri -- $16.00
38. Indiana -- $16.03
37. Nebraska -- $16.08
36. New Mexico -- $16.34
35. Wyoming -- $16.46
34. Tennessee -- $16.58
33. North Dakota -- $16.65
32. Wisconsin -- $16.77
31. Louisiana -- $16.86
30. North Carolina -- $16.95
29. Michigan -- $17.25
28. South Carolina -- $17.27
27. Utah -- $18.30
26. Georgia -- $18.42
25. Nevada -- $18.85
24. Pennsylvania -- $19.35
23. Arizona -- $19.52
22. Minnesota -- $19.74
21. Maine -- $19.91
20. Texas -- $20.29
19. Illinois -- $20.85
18. Rhode Island -- $20.86
17. Delaware -- $21.97
16. Vermont -- $22.78
15. Florida -- $22.86
14. Oregon -- $22.97
13. Virginia -- $23.13
12. New Hampshire -- $23.23
11. Alaska -- $24.84
10. Colorado -- $25.33
9. Connecticut -- $25.40
8. Maryland -- $27.52
7. Washington -- $27.78
6. New Jersey -- $28.86
5. New York -- $30.76
4. Washington, DC -- $32.02
3. Massachusetts -- $33.81
2. California -- $34.69
1. Hawaii -- $36.82

On a national level, a full-time worker needs to make $22.96 an hour, on average, to be able to afford a modest two-bedroom home without spending more than 30% on housing. To put that in perspective, that's nearly three times the federal minimum wage of $7.25. 

So, uh, if for some reason you're suddenly wondering where it's possible to live comfortably without working 130 hours a week to afford rent, may we suggest peeking at this.

h/tHuffington Post


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.