If someone was to give you $100 right now where should you go to spend it? The answer: Mississippi. It will be worth just over $115, as the map below shows.
Click on the map to see a larger version
This map, put together by the Tax Foundation, shows the real value of $100 across the United States. The figures relate to the value of goods that can be bought with $100 in each state compared to the national average.
So for example in Mississippi you can purchase $115.74 worth of goods for $100 dollars. Compare that to D.C. where $100 will only get you $84.60 worth of goods.
Where $100 Goes the Furthest?
- Mississippi - $115.74
- Arkansas $114.16
- Missouri $113.51
- Alabama 113.51
- South Dakota $113.38
Where $100 is Worth the Least?
- District of Columbia - $84.60
- Hawaii - $85.32
- New York - $86.66
- New Jersey - $87.64
- California - $88.57
The general trend is that states where the wages are high also have the highest prices. That’s why D.C, New York and California are all among the five areas where $100 is worth the least.
This relationship is not fixed though. Take North Dakota as an example. Average earnings are relatively high, but $100 is actually worth $110.62 here, making it one of the best value states.
It’s easy to think that the states that pay the highest wages are automatically the richest, but when you consider how far that money goes it can change the picture considerably.
The South for Businesses?
Our recent research into women-owned firms showed that the South of the country has seen significant growth in female entrepreneurship over the last 15 years. We have spoken to a number of business owners in the South (both male and female), many of whom referenced the lower start-up costs and cheaper living costs in Southern cities.
As the prices continue to rise in the more expensive cities like New York and San Francisco it will be interesting to see if even more entrepreneurs begin to emerge from other areas of the country.