How to Make Money

10 Cities Where Your Paycheck Will Go the Furthest

June 27, 2016
by Susan Shain
Senior Writer
Where to move

You may have seen our lists of states where you could earn more money.

Or save more money.

Though interesting, those lists come with two caveats: States include many different regions, and depending on where you live, your salary doesn’t always reflect your buying power.

A new study from Pew Research Center, on the other hand, takes both those factors into account.

By adjusting average weekly wages for cost of living, Pew determined the 10 metropolitan areas where Americans earn the most — and the 10 where they earn the least.

Keep reading to see the surprising results.

Where Americans Earn the Most and Least

For the study, Pew used Regional Price Parities (RPPs) — which “measure local price levels in each of the nation’s 381 metropolitan statistical areas” — to adjust each region’s average weekly wages.

“High regional price levels can erode the real value of wages, but relatively low prices can effectively offset low wages, at least to some extent,” it explains.

Here are the results:

cost of living
Source: Pew Research Center

A few surprises on the list, right?

I couldn’t believe Silicon Valley came out on top.

I knew wages there were great, but I figured they were offset by the area’s insanely high cost of living.

That said, the results also show you don’t need to move to California to find well-paying tech jobs.

Two lesser-known tech hubs — North Carolina’s “Research Triangle” and Huntsville, Alabama — joined NorCal on the list of highest wages.

Thinking about moving? Here are a few other posts that might help:

Your Turn: Did any of the cities on these lists surprise you?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

by Susan Shain
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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