What's $100 Really Worth in Your City?
Sure, $100 might have the same value today as it did back when you could get five bees for a quarter, but now we know that the distance a c-note'll take you depends on what state you're in, thanks to last year's data map from the Tax Foundation.
This year, though, they've gone even further and put together a map showing what your $100 is actually worth in each of America's largest metro areas. Who knew San Francisco was so expensive? Oh, that's right, everyone.
The economists at the Tax Foundation used data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to gauge the effective purchasing power of counties throughout the United States, combining data for all counties within a Metropolitan Statistical Area into one lump average.
Unsurprisingly, the strongest value for your dollar can be found in the center of the country, in cities like Kansas City, MO ($106.72), Columbus, OH ($106.95), and even New Orleans ($103.95). In fact, all of Texas' major cities have comparatively even purchasing power, from Austin ($101.32) to the combined MSA of Houston, The Woodlands, and Sugar Land ($99.40).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Urban Honolulu offers the absolute worst value with $100 turning into $81.63. In the lower 48, the combined MSA of NYC, Newark, and Jersey City ranks only slightly better at $81.77, while major California areas like San Francisco ($83.13) and San Diego ($85.03) don't fare much better. Los Angeles, however, is conspicuously absent from the map.
Check out some zoomed-in views below -- along with a key explaining the color coded values -- or hit up an interactive version over at the Tax Foundation.