“What Families Need to Get By” Varies Wildly from City to City — EPI

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What does it cost to live in America. That depends on where people live. There should be no surprise in that given variations in poverty levels, household income, education, and the price of real estate and other substantial costs. However, the variation much, much larger than might be expected

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI):

The real costs for families to live modest, economically secure lives are much higher than conventional estimates show for all cities across the country. For minimum-wage workers, it is nearly impossible to meet basic family needs.

Put another way, the number of people truly living “in poverty” may be much larger than the government’s figure of 16%.

The EPI adds:

Like most of the old Southern states from Louisiana to Alabama and north into Kentucky, poverty remains high, and income and education much lower than the national average.

Elise Gould, EPI director of health policy research said when commenting on the new “What Families Need to Get By: The 2013 Update of EPI’s Family Budget Calculator” that:

“The fact that hardworking families are struggling to afford their basic needs  makes clear how critical government policies are to ensure that our families can afford such basic necessities like food, child care, housing, transportation, and health care.”

Federal policy data seems to be well out of kilter with reality.

The budget calculator can be found here