How Much Money an Hour You Need to Make to Afford Rent in Each State

NLIHC.org
NLIHC.org

It's no secret that minimum wage is far too low for modern workers in the United States. At the moment, the lowest hourly rate in each state teeters between about seven and ten dollars. While we're making steps to give people fair wages, we still have a long way to go, as illustrated by this map. The National Low Income Housing Coalition released a report called Out of Reach,” that illustrates the divide between minimum wage and housing prices. It looks at how much a full-time employee would have to make an hour to afford a fair market, two-bedroom apartment using only 30 percent of his or her income. 

As expected, the results don't look good. No state currently offers a minimum wage that could allow a worker to afford an apartment. This comes as no surprise for more expensive metro areas like New York City, where most citizens are expected to use up to half their earnings to pay rent, but the problem extends to even the most inexpensive areas like in South Dakota. The national average to afford an apartment is $20.30 hourly ($42,240 annually) but the federal minimum wage is only $7.25. A person would have to work 112 hours a week to be able to afford the average rent. 

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly.

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Map Shows the Most Stressed-Out Cities in America

Corey Agopian, Unsplash
Corey Agopian, Unsplash

If you feel stressed more often than not, where you live could be part of the problem. Numerous factors that contribute to stress—like work/life balance, income, and cost of living—vary by location. To see if the place you call home is considered one of the most stressed-out places in America, check out the map below.

Zippia

To determine the most stressed city in each state, the career search site Zippia looked at multiple criteria. The quality of life factors they linked to stress include the average number of hours residents work per week, average commute times, unemployment rates, income to housing price ratios, and the percentages of uninsured residents. All data came from the U.S. Census American Community Survey for 2013 to 2017 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to Zippia, the fast pace of city life doesn't automatically equal more stress. The map below includes many small- and medium-sized cities, like Mead Valley, California; Asbury Park, New Jersey; and Lantana, Florida. The biggest city that appears on the map is Chicago.

A city has just as much potential to boost a resident's happiness as it does to raise their stress levels. You can learn more about Zippia's methodology and findings here. After looking at their map, check out the 25 happiest cities in the country here.