COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Are you earning a living wage in Ohio?
A tool from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates the cost of living in every U.S. state, county and metropolitan area. MIT’s interactive database, the Living Wage Calculator, allows users to compare their income to the cost of living where they live.
For example, a single adult in Ohio with no children would need to make $13.16 an hour to support their household, but that shoots up to $28.58 per hour with just one child.
For a household with two working parents who have three children (the maximum in the calculator), each adult would need to bring in $23.97 an hour to match Ohio’s cost of living. If that family lived in Columbus, each parent’s wage would need to be $25.24.
Use the calculator here to find results for any state, county or metro area in the country.
MIT pulled data from various public sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For reference, the calculator also lists each area’s minimum wage (as of 2019) and its poverty wage, the salary threshold for federal assistance. In Ohio, the minimum wage was $8.70 per hour in 2019, higher than the federal $7.25 but lower than several states’ minimums, including Michigan’s $9.65 and West Virginia’s $8.75.
The tool also estimates how much a person in each financial situation should ideally spend on things like food, housing and child care. The calculator also lists the typical annual salaries for jobs in each area; In Ohio, they range from “Management” at $100,177 to “Transportation & Material Moving” at $32,113.