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slides: New England’s Best States To Make a Living

Friday, April 05, 2013


How easy it is to make a good living might depend on where you live, and a new ranking from MoneyRates.com reveals which states are the easiest--and toughest--for making a living. Fortunately, Massachusetts has ended up tops among New England states for 2013, ranking #13 overall.

New England's lowest-ranking state, Rhode Island, scored #3 on the 10 Worst States to Make a Living, outdone by only Mississippi (#2 worst) and Hawaii (#1 worst for 3 years in a row). 

Compiling the ranking

Using average wage and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cost of living figures from C2ER (formerly ACCRA) and state tax information from Tax-Rates.org, MoneyRates.com calculated an average income figure for each state that included adjustments for taxes, inflation and the chances of finding a job in that state. Finally, those figures were furthered adjusted according to each state's Workplace Environment rankings from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll.

The Best 10

None of the 10 Best States to Make a Living in 2013 were in New England. Washington led the pack this year at #1, followed by Virginia at #2, Colorado at #3, Texas at #4, and Wyoming at #5. Rounding out the Top 10 were Minnesota (#6), Nebraska, (#7), Utah (#8), Kansas (#9), and Oklahoma (#10).

To see more about the Best and Worst, as well as how all of New England's states did, see below.

Sources: Unemployment rates for February, 2013 from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median household income 2011 from US Census; Average income tax rates from http://www.tax-rates.org, Work environment rank from Gallup Well-Being Index 2012.

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#6 Rhode Island

National rank: 48

Unemployment rate: 9.4%

Median household income: $53,636

Avg. income tax rate: 4.83%

Work environment rank: 50

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#5 Vermont

National rank: 43

Unemployment rate: 4.4%

Median household income: $52,776

Avg. income tax rate: 7.18%

Work environment rank: 27

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#4 Maine

National rank: 40

Unemployment rate: 7.3%

Median household income: $46,033

Avg. income tax rate: 5.5%

Work environment rank: 7

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#3 Connecticut

National rank: 37

Unemployment rate: 8.0%

Median household income: $65,753

Avg. income tax rate: 4.83%

Work environment rank: 29

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#2 New Hampshire

National rank: 36

Unemployment rate: 5.8%

Median household income: $62,647

Avg. income tax rate: 5%

Work environment rank: 20

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#1 Massachusetts

National rank: 13

Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Median household income: $62,859

Avg. income tax rate: 5.3%

Work environment rank: 22


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