For a parent, life can often feel like a never-ending series of bills and at the top of the list of pesky expenses is rent. Unless you are lucky enough to own a home (an increasingly unrealistic notion for millennials), every month means having to hand over what feels like most of your paycheck to your landlord. Trying to pay rent is a headache for parents but a new map highlights just how damn expensive rent has become all across the country.
“The housing crisis is very bad,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “It’s worse that it’s been in a long time and it continues to get worse.”
The map, which comes from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual Out of Reach report, highlights the hourly wage that is necessary for a full-time worker to be able to afford a two-bedroom rental at fair market rent.
According to the report, a full-time worker needs to earn $22.96 an hour or roughly $47,756.80 per year in order to afford a two-bedroom rental, which is well above the average minimum wage across the country. Even in the most affordable state, Arkansas, full-time workers would need to be making $14.26 an hour, which is still more than $5 below the state’s minimum wage of $9.25.
Unsurprisingly, the most affordable states are in the south and midwest, including Mississippi ($14.43), Alabama ($14.92), South Dakota ($15.30), and Iowa ($15.44). Meanwhile, Hawaii was the most expensive state, as you would need to be earning a whopping $36.82 per hour ($76,586 salary), followed by California ($34.69), Massachusetts ($33.81), New York ($30.76), and New Jersey ($28.86).
Looking at the map, it’s hard not to feel a little despondent about the absurd amount of money required simply to have a roof over your head. But at least you can take some comfort in knowing that all across the country, the rent is just too damn high. We’re all in this together.