SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California and New York, two states set to approve a $15 minimum wage, are among the nation’s most expensive places to live.
New Yorkers need to make 40 cents more than Californians every hour to earn enough for a normal standard of living, called the living wage, according to calculations by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
While food, housing and transportation costs are similar, child care is typically twice as expensive in New York, and a single adult pays about $600 less in state taxes every year in California.
Here’s how far a living wage goes in the two states, with figures based on the annual cost of living for a single adult, unless otherwise specified, and price parities showing how much goods and services cost above the national average.
Living wage: $12.35 per hour, 40 hours per week
Child care (two adults, two children): $9,869
Price parity: 12.3 per cent
People living below poverty level: 16.4 per cent
Population: 38.8 million
Living wage: $12.75 per hour, 40 hours per week
Child care (two adults, two children): $20,250
Price parity: 15.3 per cent
People living below poverty level: 15.9 per cent
Population: 19.7 million
Sources: Cost-of-living figures from ongoing MIT study of income and expenses; price parities from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; population and poverty figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.