How far a dollar goes in each state

From The Washington Post:

You might think you know the value of a buck. But a recent Tax Foundation analysis provides a stark illustration of just how much further a dollar goes in some parts of the country than in others.

It’s no secret that some regions of the country are more expensive than others. This is most obvious when it comes to things such as rent, which is nearly twice as high in New York state as it is in Mississippi. These disparities extend to all sorts of other prices too, for items such as food, gas, and utilities.

The flip side of this, of course, is that income can differ drastically from place to place, as well. The average household income is a lot higher in New York ($54,310) than it is in Mississippi ($35,521), which takes some of the sting out of those higher prices. So to get a true comparison of the value of a buck across state lines, you’d need to crunch the numbers showing how much money people make AND how much things cost where they live.

That’s exactly what the Tax Foundation recently did, using newly released numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. They found that, compared to the national average, $1 in New York state will buy you about 14 cents less. If the average American can buy a chocolate candy bar for a buck, in other words, a New Yorker would only get 86 percent of that candy bar for the same amount of money.

Check out the Tax Foundation’s map below. They used $100, rather than $1, as the point of comparison.

Conversely, a buck goes a long way in a place such as Arkansas or Mississippi. Folks there …

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