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

Kamchowder's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 625

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?

Comments (56)

Jun 29, 2017

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

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Jun 29, 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

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

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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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Jun 29, 2017

A not-so-subtle call for succession?

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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)

Jun 29, 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 29, 2017

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

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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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Jun 29, 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.

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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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Jun 29, 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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Jun 29, 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

Washington sucks. You can't have TECH INNOVATION without STATE INCOME TAX!

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Jul 5, 2017
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Oct 31, 2017
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"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
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