How many lemonade stands is it going to take to teach your kid the value of a dollar? Well, given that the cost of living varies from state to state, that lesson is a little more complicated than you may have anticipated. Unless you’ve consulted with the Bureau of Economic Analysis, you might not know the exact amount yourself. Don’t worry, The Tax Foundation already crunched the data in a recent report, so you can figure out exactly how much $100 is worth across state lines. But your kid should still keep that stand open because parents get thirsty (and you get a discount).
The states where $100 is worth the most are Mississippi ($115.34), Arkansas ($114.29), Alabama ($113.90), South Dakota ($113.64), and Kentucky ($112.74). Unfortunately, that means you have to be in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, South Dakota, or Kentucky to reap the benefits. On the smugger side of the spectrum, $100 was worth the least in the District of Columbia ($84.67), followed by Hawaii ($85.62), New York ($86.43), New Jersey ($87.34), and California ($88.97). The states that were the closest to hitting $100 even were Illinois ($99.30) and Florida ($100.91). So, Mickey Mouse ears are officially less of a rip off at Disney World compared to Disneyland.
“People thinking about this from a personal finance level might want to consider price levels somewhat in determining where to live,” Alan Cole, an economist and the author of the report, told ATTN. But he noted that the values do not take into account which places may give you the best career opportunities. Though you could assume that the states where $100 is worth less offer better work, that’s not always the case. For Nebraskans, their $100 is worth about $110.38 and they make relatively the same per capita as Californians, making their money effectively worth more. But that’s just the price you pay to not raise children of the corn.