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A dollar buys more in Mississippi

This graphic from the Tax Foundation shows $100 has the most buying power in Mississippi and the least in the District of Columbia.
This graphic from the Tax Foundation shows $100 has the most buying power in Mississippi and the least in the District of Columbia.

A dollar goes further in Mississippi than in any other state, and that’s a good thing because incomes in Mississippi are the lowest in the nation and wages are rising slowly, according to new reports.

The good news is purchasing power is 36 percent greater in Mississippi than it is in the District of Columbia, the place where the purchasing power is the least in the U.S. In Mississippi, $100 is worth $115.24. That same $100 is worth $84.67 in the District of Columbia, or $30.57 less.

“In other words, by this measure, if you have $50,000 in after-tax income in Mississippi, you would have to have after-tax earnings of $68,000 in the District of Columbia just to afford the same overall standard of living,” said Jim Cole in a report by the Tax Foundation from numbers compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

BEA has measured the relative value of a dollar for two years.

After Mississippi, the best value for $100 is found in Arkansas ($114.29), Alabama ($113.90), South Dakota ($113.64) and West Virginia ($112.49).

After the District of Columbia, that Ben Franklin is worth the least in Hawaii ($85.62), New York ($86.43), New Jersey ($87.34) and California ($88.97), the report says.

The bad news, according to separate BEA reports, is states where buying power is highest tend to have lower wages and slower wage growth.

Personal income in Mississippi grew at 2.4 percent in 2014 compared with a national rate of 2.9 percent. Mississippi is among the 10 states with the slowest growth for the year. Nevada had the highest rate at 4.7 percent and South Dakota the lowest rate at 0.4 percent.

In 2014, residents of the District of Columbia had the fifth-highest median household income of $65,124, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, while Mississippi had the lowest at $36,919, a difference of $28,205. Even with Mississippi’s superior buying power, the D.C. residents come out ahead.

State

Mississippi

Real value of $100

$115.34

Rank

1

Arkansas

$114.29

2

Alabama

$113.90

3

South Dakota

$113.64

4

Kentucky

$112.74

5

West Virginia

$112.49

6

Ohio

$111.98

7

Missouri

$111.86

8

Oklahoma

$110.99

9

Tennessee

$110.86

10

Iowa

$110.74

11

South Carolina

$110.50

12

Nebraska

$110.38

13

Kansas

$110.25

14

Indiana

$109.41

15

Louisiana

$109.41

16

North Dakota

$109.29

17

North Carolina

$109.05

18

Georgia

$108.70

19

Idaho

$107.07

20

Wisconsin

$107.07

21

Michigan

$106.27

22

Montana

$106.16

23

New Mexico

$105.26

24

Wyoming

$103.95

25

Arizona

$103.73

26

Texas

$103.52

27

Utah

$103.09

28

Maine

$102.99

29

Minnesota

$102.46

30

Nevada

$102.35

31

Pennsylvania

$101.83

32

Rhode Island

$101.32

33

Oregon

$101.01

34

Florida

$100.91

35

Illinois

$99.30

36

Vermont

$98.81

37

Delaware

$98.14

38

Colorado

$98.04

39

Virginia

$97.47

40

Washington

$96.34

41

New Hampshire

$95.06

42

Alaska

$94.61

43

Massachusetts

$93.37

44

Connecticut

$91.91

45

Maryland

$90.66

46

California

$88.97

47

New Jersey

$87.34

48

New York

$86.43

49

Hawaii

$85.62

50

District of Columbia

$84.67

Bureau of Economic Analysis & Tax Foundation

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