What city will give the most bang for your buck? If you live in a big US city, try this quiz and find out. Spoiler: It’s not New York or San Francisco.

The “best place in each state to live on a $50,000 salary” is a blog that has been written by the New York Times. The article provides information about the best cities in each US state for people with a salary of $50,000.

Your salary goes furthest in this US city

Isn’t it true that huge city implies big money? If you want to make a lot of money in the IT industry, you should look for work in San Francisco. You decide to cash in your MBA chips by relocating to New York City. Right?

Yes, in absolute terms. In the United States, San Francisco has the highest average tech and cross-sector salary. One out of every three New Yorkers earns a six-figure income.

However, in reality, the answer is no. You may wish you had looked beyond the figures on your job offer while looking for homes, shopping for food, or doing your taxes. San Francisco’s average tech sector salary isn’t even among the top 30 cities in America when adjusted for cost of living.

CashNetUSA wants to make sure you understand exactly what that beginning pay entails. We used city wage data from Payscale and modified it using Bureau of Economic Analysis cost-of-living data. For a cross-sector study as well as a specific look at the IT, business, and banking sectors, we employed the same strategy.


Depositphotos_118207460_m-2015_Mcw4OmQ Depositphotos_118207460_m-2015_Mcw4OmQ

The Bureau of Economic Analysis provided us with a list of metropolitan regions as well as cost of living statistics, including regional price parity values per metro. Then we used Payscale to gather city wage data by sector and modified salaries based on cost of living data.

A complete list of sources may be found here.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Wage Gaps & Cost of Living

wage-disparity-vs-metro-size_FbrvINz wage-disparity-vs-metro-size_FbrvINz

When cost of living is taken into account, pay disparities for cities of various sizes may be seen in this scatter graph. It considers all economic sectors. The blue symbols represent the average pay in each city size, while the red icons represent the number after cost of living is taken into account.

Because the cost of living grows in lockstep with the population of a metropolis, your money goes farther in small towns. Large cities, on the other hand, normally have higher incomes to compensate for the greater expenditures. When living expenses are taken into account, the typical worker in a city with less than 250k residents effectively gets a near $5,000 benefit.

As cities grow in size, the distance becomes narrower and smaller. The high cost of living in the largest cities reduces the effective average pay. As a consequence, the average adjusted pay in the smallest cities is just $3k lower than in the biggest, compared to a $8k gap using unadjusted data.

Find the top 20 cities in the United States where your pay will stretch the farthest.

CashNetUSA.com / Neomam / CashNetUSA.com / Neomam / CashNetUSA.com / Neomam

Connecticut’s Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown is number 20.

Depositphotos_34261381_s-2019 Depositphotos_34261381_s-2019

  • Salary: $66,214 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $67,869 (unadjusted)

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Bloomington, Illinois is number 19 on the list.

Illinois_town_of_Galena Illinois_town_of_Galena

  • Salary: $66,316 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $60,746 (unadjusted)

IanDikhtiar is the author of this image.

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson (Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson)

Depositphotos_55283499_s-2019 Depositphotos_55283499_s-2019

  • Salary: $66,543 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $60,621 (unadjusted)

Deposit Photos provided the image.

17. Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington)

Dallas_typhoonski Dallas_typhoonski

  • Salary: $66,728 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $67,529 (unadjusted)

typhoonski is the author of this image.

16. Atlanta, Georgia (Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta)

Depositphotos_40497319_s-2019 Depositphotos_40497319_s-2019

  • Salary: $66,758 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $65,356 (unadjusted)

Deposit Photos provided the image.

Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina is ranked number 15 in the United States.

Depositphotos_71522987_s-2019 Depositphotos_71522987_s-2019

  • Salary: $66,788 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $64,183 (unadjusted)

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Morgantown, West Virginia is number fourteen.

iStock-624966564 iStock-624966564

  • Salary: $67,046 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $60,207 (unadjusted)

BackyardProduction / istockphoto is the source of this image.

Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama (#13)

Depositphotos_22054799_m-2015 Depositphotos_22054799_m-2015

  • Salary: $67,418 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $59,530 (unadjusted)

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana (#12)

elkhart-indiana elkhart-indiana

  • Salary: $68,510 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $60,837 (unadjusted)

Image credit: iStock/William Reagan

Rochester, Minnesota (#11)

iStock-1168273932 iStock-1168273932

  • Salary: $68,746 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $63,865 (unadjusted)

Image credit: istockphoto/leightrail.

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina is ranked number ten.

Depositphotos_116973098_m-2015 Depositphotos_116973098_m-2015

  • Salary: $69,265 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $65,386 (unadjusted)

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

Wisconsin’s Fond du Lac is number nine.

fond-du-lac-wisconsin fond-du-lac-wisconsin

  • Salary: $69,624 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $61,130 (unadjusted)

Kevin Pawlak / iStock / Kevin Pawlak / iStock / Kevin Pawlak / iStock

Columbus, Indiana is number eight.

columbus-indiana columbus-indiana

  • Salary: $69,625 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $61,758 (unadjusted)

Kirkikis / iStock / Kirkikis / iStock / Kirkikis / iStock

St. Louis is number seven.

16571824737_2ff6d89c16_c 16571824737_2ff6d89c16_c

  • Salary: $69,833 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $62,920 (unadjusted)

Nicolas Henderson / Flickr. Image credit: Nicolas Henderson / Flickr.

North Carolina’s Durham-Chapel Hill is ranked sixth.

iStock-1082011562 iStock-1082011562

  • Salary: $70,725 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $67,048 (unadjusted)

Sean Pavone / istockphoto contributed to this image.

Huntsville, Alabama is number five.

iStock-949164460 iStock-949164460

  • Salary: $71,194 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $63,363 (unadjusted)

Sean Pavone / istockphoto contributed to this image.

4. The city of Columbus, Georgia

columbus-georgia-stressed-cities columbus-georgia-stressed-cities

  • Salary: $73,033 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $64,708 (unadjusted)

PghPhxNfk / Wiki Commons / PghPhxNfk / Wiki Commons / PghPhxNfk /

3. New Mexico’s capital is Santa Fe.

santa-fe-1668455_640 santa-fe-1668455_640

  • Salary: $74,567 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $72,330 (unadjusted)

Pixabay.com is the source of this image.

2. Kokomo is a city in Indiana.

Screen_Shot_2020-09-17_at_12 Screen_Shot_2020-09-17_at_12

  • Salary: $76,862 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $65,640 (unadjusted)

Cameronloyd03 / Wikimedia Commons / Cameronloyd03 / Wikimedia Commons / Cameronloyd03 / Wikimedia

Alexandria, Virginia is number one.

iStock-886639498 iStock-886639498

  • Salary: $83,809 (adjusted)
  • Salary: $71,572 (unadjusted)


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AlbertPego / istockphoto contributed to this image.

MediaFeed has more.

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MNStudio / istockphoto / MNStudio / istockphoto / MNStudio / istockphoto


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The “states where your money goes the furthest” is a list of US cities with their annual income. The list includes the average salary for each state, as well as how much your salary would go further in that state.

  • cities where money goes the farthest
  • where will my money go the furthest
  • countries where the dollar goes furthest 2021
  • is $50,000 a good salary
  • where does your retirement dollar go the furthest
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