Where Does $100 Go the Furthest in New England?
If you’re trying to stretch your dollar this summer, you might find some difficulty in the Bay State.
The Tax Foundation, a D.C.-based think-tank, has compiled a map showing the real value of $100 for each of the 50 states, using the most recent data collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on real prices in 2014. The same amount of cash can buy you more or less depending on which state you’re in, and New England is hardly an exception.
In Connecticut, $100 is worth $91.91, the lowest purchasing power of the six New England states. Compare that to Maine, where $100 is worth $102.99, the highest in the region. In Massachusetts, $100 is worth $93.37; New Hampshire, $95.06; Vermont, $98.81; and Rhode Island, $101.32.
“It’s generally the case that states with higher nominal incomes also have higher price levels. This is because there is a relationship between the two: in places with higher incomes, the prices of finite resources like land get bid up,” writes Alan Cole of the Tax Foundation. “But the causation also runs in the opposite direction. Places with high costs of living pay higher salaries for the same jobs. This is what labor economists call a compensating differential; the higher pay is offered in order to make up for the low purchasing power.”
Across the country, a Benjamin is worth the most in Mississippi ($115.34), Arkansas ($114.29), Alabama ($113.90), South Dakota ($113.64), and West Virginia ($112.49), while it’s effectively worth the least in Hawaii ($85.62), New York ($86.43), New Jersey ($87.34), and California ($88.97).
So take that, New York.