By Kaitlin Mulhere
Updated: March 15, 2018 9:58 AM ET | Originally published: March 1, 2018

Geography can transform a paycheck. That is: How much your wages are actually worth depends largely on where you live.

On some level, everyone understands that—even if you don’t have a firm grasp on precisely how far a $50,000 salary would go in California, compared with, say, Ohio. MONEY set out to find the answer, meshing average income data with a cost of living measurement for each state.

We pulled average pay for each state, based on 2015 median household income from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Then we adjusted those figures based on each state’s 2015 “regional price parity”—a calculation by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that shows how much a certain amount of cash will buy you in a given place.

The higher the price parity number for a given state, the more residents will pay for items such as housing, food, and transportation. The BEA calculates this by looking at the price of goods and services in the Consumer Price Index, as well as rents reported to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. A price parity figure of 118.8, like Hawaii’s, means that goods and services there cost almost 19% more than the national average. Prices in Mississippi, meanwhile, with a price parity of 86.2, are about 14% less than the national average.

NOTE: Real pay values based on the 2015 median household incomes in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the 2015 regional price parity from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Living expenses tend to cluster by region. The Northeast is comparatively more expensive than much of the Southeast, for example. But there are considerable differences even among states that are neighbors. In Illinois, for example, the real value of $1,000 is $1,003. In next-door Indiana and Missouri, that rises to $1,103 and $1,120, respectively, since those are lower-cost states.

In some states, such as Delaware, there’s little difference between the median household income and how much it can purchase locally. Delaware has a price parity (100.4) that’s nearly in line with the national average (which gets indexed to 100). But in other areas, such as North Dakota or Massachusetts, the price parity calculation can either add or subtract thousands from an average earner’s spending power.

A few notes: Household income doesn’t count non-cash benefits and doesn’t account for property or personal income taxes, other deductions, or Social Security—so it’s not the same as take-home pay. The cost of living and average income can also vary considerably within a state, so your state’s real salary may not reflect what workers in a specific city earn or pay to live.

Here are the median household incomes, regional price comparisons, and real salary values in each U.S. state.

Alabama

  • Median household income: $44,765
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 86.8
  • Real income: $51,573

Alaska

  • Median household income: $73,355
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 105.6
  • Real income: $69,465

Arizona

  • Median household income: $51,492
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 96.2
  • Real income: $53,526

Arkansas

  • Median household income: $41,995
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 87.4
  • Real income: $48,049

California

  • Median household income: $64,500
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 113.4
  • Real income: $56,878

Colorado

  • Median household income: $63,909
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 103.2
  • Real income: $61,927

Connecticut

  • Median household income: $71,346
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 108.7
  • Real income: $65,636

Delaware

  • Median household income: $61,255
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 100.4
  • Real income: $61,011

District of Columbia

  • Median household income: $75,628
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 117
  • Real income: $64,639

Florida

  • Median household income: $49,426
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 99.5
  • Real income: $49,674

Georgia

  • Median household income: $51,244
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 92.6
  • Real income: $55,339

Hawaii

  • Median household income: $73,486
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 118.8
  • Real income: $61,857

Idaho

  • Median household income: $48,275
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 93.4
  • Real income: $51,686

Illinois

  • Median household income: $59,588
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 99.7
  • Real income: $59,767

Indiana

  • Median household income: $50,532
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 90.7
  • Real income: $55,713

Iowa

  • Median household income: $54,736
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 90.3
  • Real income: $60,616

Kansas

  • Median household income: $53,906
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 90.4
  • Real income: $59,631

Kentucky

  • Median household income: $45,215
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 88.6
  • Real income: $51,033

Louisiana

  • Median household income: $45,727
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 90.6
  • Real income: $50,471

Maine

  • Median household income: $51,494
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 98
  • Real income: $52,545

Maryland

  • Median household income: $75,847
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 109.6
  • Real income: $69,203

Massachusetts

  • Median household income: $70,628
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 106.9
  • Real income: $66,069

Michigan

  • Median household income: $51,084
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 93.5
  • Real income: $54,635

Minnesota

  • Median household income: $63,488
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 97.4
  • Real income: $65,183

Mississippi

  • Median household income: $40,593
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 86.2
  • Real income: $47,092

Missouri

  • Median household income: $50,238
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 89.3
  • Real income: $56,258

Montana

  • Median household income: $49,509
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 94.8
  • Real income: $52,225

Nebraska

  • Median household income: $54,996
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 90.6
  • Real income: $60,702

Nevada

  • Median household income: $52,431
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 98
  • Real income: $53,501

New Hampshire

  • Median household income: $70,303
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 105
  • Real income: $66,955

New Jersey

  • Median household income: $72,222
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 113.4
  • Real income: $63,688

New Mexico

  • Median household income: $45,382
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 94.4
  • Real income: $48,074

New York

  • Median household income: $60,850
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 115.3
  • Real income: $52,775

North Carolina

  • Median household income: $47,830
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 91.2
  • Real income: $52,445

North Dakota

  • Median household income: $60,557
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 92.3
  • Real income: $65,609

Ohio

  • Median household income: $51,075
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 89.2
  • Real income: $57,259

Oklahoma

  • Median household income: $48,568
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 89.9
  • Real income: $54,024

Oregon

  • Median household income: $54,148
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 99.2
  • Real income: $54,585

Pennsylvania

  • Median household income: $55,702
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 97.9
  • Real income: $56,897

Rhode Island

  • Median household income: $58,073
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 98.7
  • Real income: $58,838

South Carolina

  • Median household income: $47,238
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 90.3
  • Real income: $52,312

South Dakota

  • Median household income: $53,017
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 88.2
  • Real income: $60,110

Tennessee

  • Median household income: $47,275
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 89.9
  • Real income: $52,586

Texas

  • Median household income: $55,653
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 96.8
  • Real income: $57,493

Utah

  • Median household income: $62,912
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 97
  • Real income: $64,858

Vermont

  • Median household income: $56,990
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 101.6
  • Real income: $56,093

Virginia

  • Median household income: $66,262
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 102.5
  • Real income: $64,646

Washington

  • Median household income: $64,129
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 104.8
  • Real income: $61,192

West Virginia

  • Median household income: $42,019
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 88.9
  • Real income: $47,265

Wisconsin

  • Median household income: $55,638
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 93.1
  • Real income: $59,762

Wyoming

  • Median household income: $60,214
  • Regional price parity out of 100: 96.2
  • Real income: $62,593

This story has been updated to clarify that household income figures for each state are median household income, and to correct an error in the map graphic and North Dakota’s median household income.

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