Can You Afford Rent? Discover the Minimum Earnings to Cover Rent in Each State

Everyone knows that some states are more affordable to live in than others. Since more than 36% of U.S. households decided to rent, it is certainly important to know what you need to earn in your state to live comfortably and cover the rent. Want to learn more? Read the information below to find out!

State Overview

Before we move onto some tips where rent payments are concerned, let us take a look at an overview of the various states and how much you need to earn an hour to rent a two-bedroom apartment comfortably.Apartment-Rental-Map

  • Alabama: $13.93
  • Alaska: $23.25
  • Arizona: $17.18
  • Arkansas: $13.26
  • California: $28.59
  • Colorado: $21.12
  • Connecticut: $24.72
  • District of Columbia: $31.21
  • Delaware: $21.70
  • Florida: $19.96
  • Georgia: $16.30
  • Hawaii: $34.22
  • Idaho: $14.22
  • Iowa: $14.03
  • Illinois: $19.98
  • Indiana: $14.84
  • Kansas: $15.01
  • Kentucky: $14.10
  • Louisiana: $15.81
  • Maine: $17.04
  • Maryland: $26.53
  • Massachusetts: $25.91
  • Michigan: $15.62
  • Minnesota: $17.76
  • Missouri: $14.98
  • Mississippi: $14.07
  • Montana: $14.60
  • Nebraska: $18.26
  • New Hampshire: $21.09
  • New Jersey: $26.52
  • New Mexico: $16.06
  • New York: $26.69
  • North Carolina: $15.66
  • North Dakota: $15.66
  • Ohio: $14.13
  • Oklahoma: $14.33
  • Oregon: $19.38
  • Pennsylvania: $18.27
  • Rhode Island: $19.06
  • South Carolina: $14.84
  • South Dakota: $13.77
  • Tennessee: $14.99
  • Texas: $17.60
  • Utah: $16.32
  • Virginia: $22.44
  • Vermont: $21.13
  • Washington: $23.13
  • Wisconsin: $15.52
  • West Virginia: $13.17
  • Wyoming: $15.62

Related: The Average National Mortgage Debt Reaches Nearly $200,000

As you may notice from our overview, the differences in required hourly wage can vary considerably. The lower range seems to lie between $13 and $20, while the highest range lies between $30 and $34.

What the Numbers Mean

The numbers indicate that the average American household must earn at least $20.30 an hour to live comfortably; this average is based on a two-bedroom apartment while not exceeding more than 30% of your overall income on rent.

Naturally, the average is not applicable to everyone, because the numbers showed that recommended hourly wages vary considerably from state to state. To determine if you are living financially responsible, simply check the recommended hourly wage for your state and compare it to yours.

The Reality of the Matter

Even though spending less than 30% of your income on rent is ideal, many American households will find that the reality is much different. The demand for rental properties has also increased over the years; this included an increase of 36% in 2015. This is also one of the biggest increases since the renting boom in the late 1960s.

A recent report of the Joint Center of Housing Studies has also indicated that many American households require low-cost rentals. Unfortunately, the current supply of those rentals is insufficient to meet the demand.

For low-income renters, a study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed that only 31 affordable rental units were available per each 100 low-income households looking to rent. Therefore, the availability of rental properties is certainly lacking for people with a lower income.


Financial advisors will always tell you not to spend more on rent than 30% of your income, but as the numbers indicated, this is not always a possibility. In the current economic climate, a lot of American households are exceeding the 30% recommended by financial experts.

If you are exceeding the 30% in your state, it might be worth looking for alternatives. The government can also help in some cases, so make sure to see if you quality for any government assistance to make your financial situation a bit more safe. There are always options, it is just a matter of finding them!


Disclosure: The information provided by The Financial Genie is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with an attorney or other professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. The Financial Genie does not make any guarantee or other promise as to any results that may be obtained from using our content. No one should make any investment decision without first consulting his or her own financial advisor and conducting his or her own research and due diligence. Additionally, some of the organizations with products on our site may pay us a referral fee or affiliate commission when you click to apply for those products.

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