The Ten Best (and Worst) Places to Make a Living: 2017 Edition

Kamchowder's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 622

I just read this article about the best and worst states to make a living in 2017.

To create the ranking, MoneyRates factored in elements like median salary, state tax rates, cost of living and unemployment rate. It used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Tax Foundation, a nonprofit think tank, among other sources.


The top ten states to make a living in 2017 are listed below.
1. Washington
2. Minnesota
3. Illinois
4. Texas
5. Colorado
6. Wyoming
7. Virginia
8. Ohio
9. Michigan
10. Kansas
It is interesting to point out that a majority of these states are not on the Pacific or Atlantic coast.
The article also included the top ten list of worst states to make a living in 2017.
1. Hawaii
2. California
3. Montana
4. West Virginia
5. Vermont
6. Oregon
7. South Carolina
8. Maine
9. New York
10. Mississippi
Obviously cost of living is a major factor when creating this list and it seems like the best states to make a living are the flyover states.
Would you prefer to live in a place where there is a lower cost of living (ex. Kansas) or a place where there is a higher cost of living if you had the same salary(ex. $100k) in both places (ex. New York)? Where would you live is cost was not an issue?

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Comments (56)

Jun 29, 2017

My goal is to become the number one investment banker in Kansas

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Jul 5, 2017

"Banker" in Kansas= bank teller.

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Jun 30, 2017

Google "Private Equity Overland Park, Kansas", you may be very surprised

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Jul 5, 2017

There is a fair amount of commodities trading that happens there.

Jul 5, 2017

Interesting, thanks for the info

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Jul 5, 2017

Or you could go work for Koch Industries...at least you'd be able to get the same reputation

Best Response
Jun 29, 2017

Texas should be #1, easily the best state in this union, easily the best state on planet earth or any other planet.

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Jun 29, 2017

Texas isn't just the best state on the planet, it's the best country on the planet

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Jul 5, 2017

A not-so-subtle call for succession?

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Jun 30, 2017

Secession, is what I believe you meant to write.

I mean, last I checked, Texas has fair inheritance laws and relatively favorable estate tax rates. But any Texan should consult either a qualified attorney or financial planner to put a proper succession plan into place.

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Jul 5, 2017

Well, I guess spellcheck does't have my back (or at least list secession as the first option). Thanks for the correction.

Yeah, it seems that there is little reason for Texas to secede. What do you think of California and their growing secession movement?

Jul 5, 2017

TEXIT

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Jul 5, 2017

Well said.

Jun 30, 2017

Texas should UPEND and DISRUPT the UNITED STATES through SECESSION.

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Jul 5, 2017

Equities in Dallas

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Jun 30, 2017

Neocon confirmed

Jun 30, 2017

I'm considering to move from Eu to Texas for study (UT Austing McCombs)

Jul 5, 2017

McCombs is a great business school. Are there any elite business schools in the European Union that are comparable with those in the United States?

Jun 30, 2017

Yes.. But totally different education system. Btw if you take a look at FT ranking they report a majority of Eu universities. (LSE,LBS,HEC,Bocconi,RSM etc.)
Honestly I can't see my future in Eu. I loved London before Brexit shameful mistake..

Jun 29, 2017

Come to Texas bro, you'll thank me later.

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Jun 30, 2017

Look forward Bob trust me! You think there's a big cultural gap?
I'm a skyscrapers lover/big things lover from Italy where everything is small, from payrolls to skyscrapers hehe

Jun 29, 2017

There are plenty of skyscrapers/ big things in Texas. Payrolls are big but cost of living is small. The chics will love your accent too.

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Jun 30, 2017

Ahaha great to hear that! You made me more excited about TX!
Actually my concerns are tuition fees related. Really higher than Eu, and I would like to attend McCombs MSF (Not MBA/BBA that have high employment)
Target is a BB in Houston/Dallas

Jun 29, 2017

I can't promise a BB and college is way too expensive here but I would talk to other international students and check out how they did coming out of UT. Is your English fluent and easily understandable? That will determine a lot.

Jun 30, 2017

This is amazing! :-)
I did IELTS and spent 6 months in London for study. Another 3 to spend from September in a grande ecole in Paris (courses entirely taught in English)

Jun 30, 2017

Didn't you plan to get into LSE? LSE is both cheaper and better than UT, weird choice imo. Also did you research the working Visa rules in US? If your degree is not STEM-classified you are fucked... Actually I would choose Bocconi/HEC (your grand ecole?)/Oxbridge any day over UT

Jun 30, 2017

Exactly @JoeSixpack ..But Brexit uncertainties are making me doubtful. Both (US/UK) are bet on my future...
My goal is to work and live in US
About STEM, UTA MSF will be STEM designed next year

Jun 30, 2017

I don't really understand the cause of your doubts, aren't you Italian? Just go to LSE and you'll have a work permit for both EU (your passport) and UK (LSE degree). The probability that they wont give work permits to UK-educated europeans is virtually 0

Jun 30, 2017

Joe, if banks/am/boutique/institutions etc are going to leave the city, mixing the exodus with high CPI + pound devaluation and real wages below zero my interest fall..
(This is a worst case scenario I know$

Jun 30, 2017

Fair enough

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Jun 29, 2017

The dude wants to be an American, makes sense, it's the greatest nation in the universe.

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Jun 30, 2017

Did TNA hack into BtB's account?

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Jun 29, 2017

TNA lives in Philly, he wishes he lived in TX. Plus he wants to MAGA, I think America is already great.

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Jul 6, 2017

The power of Texas is so strong it cured Bob of the disease of hillaryclintonitis.

Jun 30, 2017

Triggered

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Jun 29, 2017

Hawaii may be worst, but even being a bartender in Hawaii has to be a great gig. I mean, you're in Hawaii.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 5, 2017

Except for the fact that it is probable that the bartender would have nearly no savings. Classic example of cost of living vs. quality of life.
I think if a person was homeless or a hippie then being in Hawaii would be better then being in Kansas, for example.

Jun 30, 2017

You can make Mainland money living in Hawaii. Maybe not Wall St DE Shaw bonus money but decent small hedge fund money. Depends on your situation. Friend of mine does trading for a small SF based hedge fund in Hawaii (wakes up really early though). Evolution Capital has a Honolulu office. Some Big Tech teams allow for remote working. Hawaii could be a place you live. Upper level exec jobs could be good. Still a pay cut from comparable positions elsewhere but you won't be suffering from poverty. In fact, you can live pretty well. If your spouse works for the airlines, free trips off island.

You get to follow all your favorite sports teams on TV and adopt the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors as your 2nd favorite college football team. What's not to love?

Agreed though that tourism based economies tend to be hard places to make a living due to capital flows and lower skilled employment. My fear is Hawaii becomes like Venice Italy (once a real city now a tourism Disneyland and second home playground).

Anyways there is a different culture there so best you adapt. If you are too type A, you won't last long.

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Jun 30, 2017

Yeah, but have you ever been outside of the tourist areas in Hawaii? When I was in Oahu, the quality of life in the "suburban" areas seemed very questionable. Some parts were okay, but most was sketchy af.

Plus I've heard that there is still a big "divide" (if you know what I mean) between the native people and whites from the continental US.

Jun 30, 2017
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Yeah, but have you ever been outside of the tourist areas in Hawaii? When I was in Oahu, the quality of life in the "suburban" areas seemed very questionable. Some parts were okay, but most was sketchy af.

Plus I've heard that there is still a big "divide" (if you know what I mean) between the native people and whites from the continental US.

"Have I ever been outside the tourist areas?" Yes, I know what I'm talking about. Haha. I'm the guy who's going to have "son of Hawaii" on my tombstone.

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Jul 5, 2017

I agree with you that the quality of life in Hawaii can be good if you can afford it. Still, generally, the cost of living in Hawaii is expensive.

Jun 30, 2017

would be interesting make the same stats Eu related

Jun 30, 2017

I live work in Colorado. It doesn't suck.

Jun 30, 2017

I agree. My sister lives out there with her husband and loves it. I miss it myself sometimes. Lol

Jun 30, 2017

Yeah in Minnesota(#2) when it's -60 degrees out and frost bite only takes a couple of minutes.. BEST living

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Jun 30, 2017

That's why we need to DISRUPT the climate ECOSYSTEM by creating GLOBAL WARMING.

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Jul 5, 2017

It isn't that bad when you take wind out of the equation. This does allow one to buy an ice house and live on a lake during the winter. Big discount in terms of rent. You then can party with some homeless meth heads. Just make sure you don't shit in the same hole you fish from.

Jun 30, 2017
Kamchowder:

The top ten states to make a living in 2017 are listed below.

The article also included the top ten list of worst states to make a living in 2017.

Today's lesson in spurious correlation: maximum state income tax rates.

State - State Income Tax Rate (Pct.)
1. Washington - 0
2. Minnesota - 9.9
3. Illinois - 3.8
4. Texas - 0
5. Colorado - 4.6
6. Wyoming - 0
7. Virginia - 5.8
8. Ohio - 5.0
9. Michigan - 4.3
10. Kansas - 4.6

Average of top rates in the ten best states to make a living is 3.8% (with MN being a massive outlier) and average of minimum rates is much lower at 2.3%.

State - State Income Tax Rate (Pct.)
1. Hawaii - 8.3
2. California - 13.3
3. Montana - 6.9
4. West Virginia - 6.5
5. Vermont - 9.0
6. Oregon - 9.9
7. South Carolina - 7.0
8. Maine - 10.2
9. New York - 8.8
10. Mississippi - 5.0

The average maximum rate of the ten worst states clocks in at 8.5%.

It's almost like in deciding where to live and work people would rather have less of the income they earn taken away from them.

Disclaimer: yes, I know there are a multitude of factors and this is only one. However, it is an important one, and breeds a virtuous cycle that bolsters the other factors (unemployment, salary, cost of living, etc.)

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Jun 29, 2017

That 0 in front of Texas is so beautiful, I would definitely marry it.

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Jul 5, 2017

Good analysis. Much appreciated

Jul 5, 2017
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Jul 5, 2017

washington state ftw, too bad i probably won't live there again anytime soon

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Jul 5, 2017

Start your own country already

...

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Jun 30, 2017
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Oct 31, 2017
"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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