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The most expensive state to raise a family of four isn’t New York, California or Hawaii — it’s Massachusetts, according to a recent SmartAsset study.

To live comfortably in Massachusetts, a family of two working adults and two kids would need to earn $301,184 annually.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget for a family of four. The budget allocates 50% of your earnings for necessities such as housing and utility costs, 30% for discretionary spending and 20% for savings or investments.

SmartAsset extrapolated the income needed for a 50/30/20 budget based on the cost of necessities, using data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Here’s a look at how much income a family of four needs to live comfortably in the five most-expensive states: 

  1. Massachusetts: $301,184
  2. Hawaii: $294,611
  3. Connecticut: $279,885
  4. New York: $278,970
  5. California: $276,723

While most of these states are known for high housing costs, Massachusetts also has higher total costs for other categories, such as child care, food and medical expenses, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

In contrast to these states, Mississippi is the least-expensive state to raise a family, requiring only $177,798 per year in annual income. The median for the U.S. as a whole is $213,782.

As a general trend, more rural U.S. states have lower costs compared with states home to numerous large cities, such as California and New York — especially when it comes to housing.

But rural states tend to have lower wages, too. The median annual wage for workers in Mississippi is $37,500, compared with $56,840 in New York, for example, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data

As a result, some of the higher costs of living in urban states are offset through higher wages. 

Here’s a look at the income needed for a family of four to live comfortably in each state, listed in alphabetical order.

 Alabama

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $193,606

Alaska

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $242,611

Arizona

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $230,630

Arkansas

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $180,794

California

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $276,723

Colorado

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $264,992

Connecticut

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $279,885

Delaware

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $228,966

Florida

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $209,082

Georgia

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $212,826

Hawaii

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $294,611

Idaho

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $211,245

Illinois

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $231,962

Indiana

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $206,003

Iowa

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $211,411

Kansas

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $196,768

Kentucky

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $190,112

Louisiana

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $189,613

Maine

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $229,549

Maryland

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $239,450

Massachusetts

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $301,184

Michigan

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $214,490

Minnesota

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $244,774

Mississippi

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $177,798

Missouri

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $202,259

Montana

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $211,411

Nebraska

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $213,075

Nevada

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $237,286

New Hampshire

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $244,109

New Jersey

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $251,181

New Mexico

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $203,923

New York

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $278,970

North Carolina

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $209,331

North Dakota

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $202,176

Ohio

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $209,331

Oklahoma

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $194,106

Oregon

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $257,338

Pennsylvania

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $230,464

Rhode Island

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $249,267

South Carolina

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $200,762

South Dakota

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $192,608

Tennessee

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $195,770

Texas

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $201,344

Utah

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $218,483

Vermont

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $248,352

Virginia

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $235,206

Washington

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $257,421

West Virginia

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $189,363

Wisconsin

  • Annual income needed to live comfortably: $225,056

Wyoming



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