Special Report

The Value of a Dollar in Each State

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The value of a dollar is not the same everywhere. Prices even of identical items vary dramatically depending on where they are sold.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis calculates regional price parities — differences in the price levels of goods and services — in each state. Using this data from the BEA, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the value of a dollar in every state.

The value of a dollar goes up in places where goods and services are less expensive. Areas with low costs of living tend to be in southern states or in areas where incomes are generally lower. By contrast, the most expensive states — where your dollar is worth the least — tend to be home to some of the nation’s largest urban clusters.

Click here to see the value of a dollar in every state.
Click here to see the detailed findings.
Click here to see the methodology.

An aerial view of a Maui beach, Kahului, Hawaii
Source: Thinkstock

50. Hawaii
> Value of a dollar: $0.86
> Personal income: $46,594 (20th highest)
> Effective personal income: $39,892 (6th lowest)
> Median home value: $566,900 (the highest)

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New York Columbus Circle
Source: Thinkstock

49. New York
> Value of a dollar: $0.86
> Personal income: $56,771 (5th highest)
> Effective personal income: $49,067 (14th highest)
> Median home value: $293,500 (6th highest)

Princeton Chapel, New Jersey
Source: Thinkstock

48. New Jersey
> Value of a dollar: $0.87
> Personal income: $57,817 (4th highest)
> Effective personal income: $50,495 (10th highest)
> Median home value: $322,600 (4th highest)

Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One, California driving
Source: Thinkstock

47. California
> Value of a dollar: $0.89
> Personal income: $51,134 (10th highest)
> Effective personal income: $45,493 (23rd lowest)
> Median home value: $449,100 (2nd highest)

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Johns Hopkins, Maryland
Source: Thinkstock

46. Maryland
> Value of a dollar: $0.91
> Personal income: $54,109 (8th highest)
> Effective personal income: $49,056 (15th highest)
> Median home value: $299,800 (5th highest)

Hartford, Connecticut
Source: Thinkstock

45. Connecticut
> Value of a dollar: $0.92
> Personal income: $66,770 (the highest)
> Effective personal income: $61,369 (2nd highest)
> Median home value: $270,900 (9th highest)

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Boston, Cambridge Skyline, Aerial view, Charles River and Beacon Hill
Source: Thinkstock

44. Massachusetts
> Value of a dollar: $0.93
> Personal income: $59,650 (2nd highest)
> Effective personal income: $55,696 (4th highest)
> Median home value: $352,100 (3rd highest)

Two seaplanes parked at a harbor, Ketchikan, Alaska
Source: Thinkstock

43. Alaska
> Value of a dollar: $0.95
> Personal income: $54,607 (7th highest)
> Effective personal income: $51,662 (7th highest)
> Median home value: $259,600 (11th highest)

New Hampshire
Source: Thinkstock

42. New Hampshire
> Value of a dollar: $0.95
> Personal income: $53,599 (9th highest)
> Effective personal income: $50,950 (9th highest)
> Median home value: $244,500 (13th highest)

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Seattle (King County), Washington
Source: Thinkstock

41. Washington
> Value of a dollar: $0.96
> Personal income: $50,421 (11th highest)
> Effective personal income: $48,575 (20th highest)
> Median home value: $284,000 (7th highest)

Lynchburg, Virginia, USA Skyline
Source: Thinkstock

40. Virginia
> Value of a dollar: $0.97
> Personal income: $50,169 (12th highest)
> Effective personal income: $48,898 (16th highest)
> Median home value: $257,800 (12th highest)

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Telluride, Colorado
Source: Thinkstock

39. Colorado
> Value of a dollar: $0.98
> Personal income: $49,823 (13th highest)
> Effective personal income: $48,846 (18th highest)
> Median home value: $283,800 (8th highest)

Delaware
Source: Thinkstock

38. Delaware
> Value of a dollar: $0.98
> Personal income: $45,333 (24th highest)
> Effective personal income: $44,488 (21st lowest)
> Median home value: $240,200 (15th highest)

Vermont farm house
Source: Thinkstock

37. Vermont
> Value of a dollar: $0.99
> Personal income: $47,128 (19th highest)
> Effective personal income: $46,569 (25th highest)
> Median home value: $223,700 (17th highest)

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Chicago, Illinois 4
Source: Thinkstock

36. Illinois
> Value of a dollar: $0.99
> Personal income: $48,563 (15th highest)
> Effective personal income: $48,225 (21st highest)
> Median home value: $180,300 (tied-24th highest)

Miami city tropical view, Florida
Source: Thinkstock

35. Florida
> Value of a dollar: $1.01
> Personal income: $42,905 (23rd lowest)
> Effective personal income: $43,295 (18th lowest)
> Median home value: $179,800 (25th lowest)

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Portland Oregon
Source: Thinkstock

34. Oregon
> Value of a dollar: $1.01
> Personal income: $41,720 (20th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $42,141 (12th lowest)
> Median home value: $264,100 (10th highest)

Providence, Rhode Island
Source: Thinkstock

33. Rhode Island
> Value of a dollar: $1.01
> Personal income: $48,043 (17th highest)
> Effective personal income: $48,676 (19th highest)
> Median home value: $241,000 (14th highest)

Hanover, Pennsylvania
Source: Thinkstock

32. Pennsylvania
> Value of a dollar: $1.02
> Personal income: $47,967 (18th highest)
> Effective personal income: $48,846 (17th highest)
> Median home value: $170,600 (23rd lowest)

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Reno, Nevada downtown during winter
Source: Thinkstock

31. Nevada
> Value of a dollar: $1.02
> Personal income: $40,565 (15th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $41,520 (9th lowest)
> Median home value: $221,400 (18th highest)

Duluth, Minnesota
Source: Thinkstock

30. Minnesota
> Value of a dollar: $1.02
> Personal income: $49,169 (14th highest)
> Effective personal income: $50,378 (11th highest)
> Median home value: $200,000 (21st highest)

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Portland, Maine 2
Source: Thinkstock

29. Maine
> Value of a dollar: $1.03
> Personal income: $41,226 (19th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $42,457 (14th lowest)
> Median home value: $180,300 (tied-24th highest)

Salt Lake City, Utah
Source: Thinkstock

28. Utah
> Value of a dollar: $1.03
> Personal income: $37,678 (9th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $38,843 (2nd lowest)
> Median home value: $234,600 (16th highest)

El Paso, Texas 2
Source: Thinkstock

27. Texas
> Value of a dollar: $1.04
> Personal income: $45,814 (23rd highest)
> Effective personal income: $47,427 (23rd highest)
> Median home value: $152,000 (16th lowest)

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Tucson, Arizona
Source: Thinkstock

26. Arizona
> Value of a dollar: $1.04
> Personal income: $38,055 (10th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $39,476 (4th lowest)
> Median home value: $194,300 (22nd highest)

Wyoming
Source: Thinkstock

25. Wyoming
> Value of a dollar: $1.04
> Personal income: $56,068 (6th highest)
> Effective personal income: $58,283 (3rd highest)
> Median home value: $212,500 (19th highest)

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Albuquerque, New Mexico 2
Source: Thinkstock

24. New Mexico
> Value of a dollar: $1.05
> Personal income: $36,701 (3rd lowest)
> Effective personal income: $38,633 (the lowest)
> Median home value: $164,100 (21st lowest)

Montana ghost town, dirt road
Source: Thinkstock

23. Montana
> Value of a dollar: $1.06
> Personal income: $40,614 (16th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $43,115 (17th lowest)
> Median home value: $209,500 (20th highest)

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Source: Thinkstock

22. Michigan
> Value of a dollar: $1.06
> Personal income: $40,942 (17th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $43,509 (19th lowest)
> Median home value: $137,500 (10th lowest)

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Mountain hilking trail leads the Idaho mountains
Source: Thinkstock

21. Idaho
> Value of a dollar: $1.07
> Personal income: $37,182 (7th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $39,809 (5th lowest)
> Median home value: $176,300 (24th lowest)

Milwaukee Houses, Wisconsin
Source: Thinkstock

20. Wisconsin
> Value of a dollar: $1.07
> Personal income: $44,414 (24th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $47,552 (22nd highest)
> Median home value: $168,300 (22nd lowest)

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Atlanta, Georgia 2
Source: Thinkstock

19. Georgia
> Value of a dollar: $1.09
> Personal income: $38,873 (11th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $42,253 (13th lowest)
> Median home value: $159,300 (19th lowest)

Sunset Beach, North Carolina
Source: Wikimedia Commons

18. North Carolina
> Value of a dollar: $1.09
> Personal income: $39,388 (12th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $42,953 (16th lowest)
> Median home value: $160,100 (20th lowest)

North Dakota, Farm, Tractor
Source: Thinkstock

17. North Dakota
> Value of a dollar: $1.09
> Personal income: $57,911 (3rd highest)
> Effective personal income: $63,291 (the highest)
> Median home value: $180,900 (23rd highest)

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Source: Thinkstock

16. Indiana
> Value of a dollar: $1.09
> Personal income: $40,477 (14th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $44,286 (20th lowest)
> Median home value: $131,000 (6th lowest)

Downtown Skyline Shreveport Louisiana
Source: Thinkstock

15. Louisiana
> Value of a dollar: $1.09
> Personal income: $41,821 (21st lowest)
> Effective personal income: $45,756 (24th lowest)
> Median home value: $155,600 (18th lowest)

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Wichita, Kansas
Source: Thinkstock

14. Kansas
> Value of a dollar: $1.10
> Personal income: $46,443 (21st highest)
> Effective personal income: $51,205 (8th highest)
> Median home value: $141,200 (11th lowest)

Aerial view of Omaha, Nebraska
Source: Thinkstock

13. Nebraska
> Value of a dollar: $1.10
> Personal income: $48,369 (16th highest)
> Effective personal income: $53,387 (5th highest)
> Median home value: $141,600 (12th lowest)

Charleston, South Carolina
Source: Thinkstock

12. South Carolina
> Value of a dollar: $1.11
> Personal income: $36,865 (4th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $40,735 (8th lowest)
> Median home value: $148,600 (14th lowest)

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Des Moines, Iowa
Source: Thinkstock

11. Iowa
> Value of a dollar: $1.11
> Personal income: $44,442 (25th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $49,216 (13th highest)
> Median home value: $136,100 (8th lowest)

City of Kingsport, Tennessee At Night
Source: Thinkstock

10. Tennessee
> Value of a dollar: $1.11
> Personal income: $40,252 (13th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $44,625 (22nd lowest)
> Median home value: $150,600 (15th lowest)

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Oklahoma City Sunrise
Source: Thinkstock

9. Oklahoma
> Value of a dollar: $1.11
> Personal income: $45,142 (25th highest)
> Effective personal income: $50,102 (12th highest)
> Median home value: $126,800 (4th lowest)

St. Louis, Missouri
Source: Thinkstock

8. Missouri
> Value of a dollar: $1.12
> Personal income: $41,126 (18th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $46,002 (25th lowest)
> Median home value: $147,800 (13th lowest)

Akron, Ohio
Source: Thinkstock

7. Ohio
> Value of a dollar: $1.12
> Personal income: $42,164 (22nd lowest)
> Effective personal income: $47,216 (24th highest)
> Median home value: $136,400 (9th lowest)

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City of Morgantown in West Virginia
Source: Thinkstock

6. West Virginia
> Value of a dollar: $1.12
> Personal income: $35,783 (2nd lowest)
> Effective personal income: $40,251 (7th lowest)
> Median home value: $112,100 (the lowest)

Louisville at dusk, Kentucky
Source: Thinkstock

5. Kentucky
> Value of a dollar: $1.13
> Personal income: $37,055 (6th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $41,776 (10th lowest)
> Median home value: $130,000 (5th lowest)

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Oglala, South Dakota
Source: Thinkstock

4. South Dakota
> Value of a dollar: $1.14
> Personal income: $46,006 (22nd highest)
> Effective personal income: $52,280 (6th highest)
> Median home value: $152,800 (17th lowest)

View of downtown Mobile, Alabama
Source: Thinkstock

3. Alabama
> Value of a dollar: $1.14
> Personal income: $36,954 (5th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $42,089 (11th lowest)
> Median home value: $134,100 (7th lowest)

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Source: Thinkstock

2. Arkansas
> Value of a dollar: $1.14
> Personal income: $37,581 (8th lowest)
> Effective personal income: $42,950 (15th lowest)
> Median home value: $120,700 (3rd lowest)

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Jackson Mississippi Skyline
Source: Thinkstock

1. Mississippi
> Value of a dollar: $1.15
> Personal income: $34,151 (the lowest)
> Effective personal income: $39,390 (3rd lowest)
> Median home value: $112,700 (2nd lowest)

Detailed Findings

While the price of many goods and services varies across the country, much of the differences in cost of living between states are the result of differences in housing costs. For example, with such high rental and housing prices in Hawaii, a dollar retains only 63 cents of its average value when spent on rent in the state. A dollar spent on rent in Arkansas on the other hand is essentially worth $1.60.

States with large shares of residents living in expensive housing in urban areas account for the vast majority of states where a dollar is worth the least. A dollar tends to be worth much more in states, particularly in the South, where a much smaller share of residents lives in cities.

Businesses that sell consumer goods in dense urban areas often have to pay a higher rent than businesses in rural areas. Some of the extra expense in the urban areas is passed on to customers by charging higher prices.

In states where a dollar is worth less — that is, states with the highest cost of living — residents tend to have higher incomes. While New York state residents only see $0.86 of value from each dollar spent, the annual per capita income is also $10,000 higher, more than enough to offset the lower purchasing power.

Incomes vary more between states than the value of a dollar. For this reason, in most of the states with high incomes and higher prices, residents are still able to afford more than residents of states with lower incomes and cheaper prices.

While the states with the highest incomes tend to be relatively expensive places to live, this is not always the case. There are six states where the per capita income is higher than average, and the cost of living is less than the average nationwide. Notably, when per capita personal income is adjusted to the cost of living, North Dakota is the state with the highest per capita personal income.

Methodology

To determine the value of a dollar in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2014 regional price parity — the most recent year for which data is available — for every state with data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 2014 per capita personal income also came from the BEA. Effective personal income was calculated by dividing the 2014 per capita personal income by the 2014 regional price parity. Median home values came from the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Consumer Survey.

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