GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)—Whomever came up with the saying, “It’s always bigger in Texas” may have gotten it right, wage-wise.
The Lone Star state is the top place to make a living this year, according to MoneyRates.com.
The site based its rankings on five criteria- average wages, state tax rates, costs of living, unemployment rates and the rate of workplace illness, injuries and fatalities. Texas moved up from No. 2 last year to the top spot this year, bolstered by a growing gross domestic product, higher than average wages and a lower than average cost of living.
Washington slid to second place, followed by Wyoming. The study’s authors say all three of the top states did not have a state income tax.
Higher wages helped both Virginia and Illinois climb the rankings this year to No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
Michigan also surged through the rankings, moving up from No. 32 last year to sixth place this year. Analysts attribute the jump to the state’s rebounding auto industry and below average cost of living, which allows for an average state income of $45,140 to stretch further.
Hawaii took the unsavory title of worst state to make a living, thanks in part to a cost of living that’s the highest in the country. Factoring in taxes and cost of living, MoneyRates.com says workers in Hawaii get the equivalent value of just $0.55 for every dollar they make.
Oregon, Maine, West Virginia and Vermont rounded out the website’s five worst states to make a living.
MoneyRates.com Best and Worst States to Make a Living 2015: http://bit.ly/1fi6eYv