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New Yorkers must make at least $38,719 to get by, per MIT Living Wage Calculator

What is a living wage? It’s the minimum income necessary for a single person to cover living expenses. It also means they can stay above the poverty line while doing those things.

The cost of housing, food, insurance, and other necessities varies significantly from one place to another, though. MIT’s Living Wage Calculator takes all that into account– and estimates the minimum income needed to cover living expenses without outside help across the entire U.S.

How much does food and health care cost? How much does transportation and housing cost? What about personal care, clothing, and other necessities? The calculator takes all that into account- and takes a look at each state.


Recently, the calculator began counting cell phone and Wi-Fi expenses, since they are essential to getting a job or being able to function in the modern world.

New York saw one of the highest necessary minimum incomes in the U.S. largely due to expense of essentials. The total required income before taxes to be considered a basic, living wage is $38,719, according to the calculator. Estimated housing costs annually in the state are $15,084, with food costs sitting at $3,690.

In fact, Hawaii and California were the only two states with higher required minimum income than New York.



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