Edit: North Dakota's 2020 ranking is #32.
And it only "exploded" from $50k in 2005. So the hype may be overblown.
What you MAY have remembered hearing is that the COST OF LIVING and HOUSING values and costs have EXPLODED, because of demand.
Home values have gone up 60 percent in ten years according to one source--which is since the 2006-7 national housing bust.
According to the same source, job growth in North Dakota has been NEGATIVE, recently.
So businesses and even the state have to PAY people to live there, otherwise they'd have no workers.
Wanna know what occupation is the most overrepresented in Maryland, compared to national population?
Healthcare. A highly paid profession.
here it is
When your cost of living and cost of, well, everything (which is especially the case for Hawaii), is so high, then that basically acts as an inflationary driver across the entire economy. Meaning that the value of the US dollar is effectively lower in those states than it would be in some others.
California, for example, has the highest minimum wage in the country. Hawaii doesn't de jure, but in practice a higher percentage of the people in Hawaii make more than minimum wage, than is the case elsewhere.
So even if someone is just struggling to get by and barely afford to pay rent and gas (as you propose), they're in that situation with a higher income (measured in US dollars) than someone elsewhere would be. And since this quiz is basically just using raw dollars as the yardstick, it makes sense that those states would be high on the list.
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