The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released their yearly findings on what hourly wage an American needs to make in order to rent a two-bedroom unit in each state based off a forty hour work week, and compared to last year's findings, this year is looking even more bleak.
Here's the data on a map. (Scroll down for mobile-friendly excerpts)
With the cost of housing rising annually, Americans are struggling more than ever to keep a roof over their heads. As of last year, the demand for rental apartments in the US has reached the highest number since the 60's, and still, many Americans, especially poor people and people of color, have not yet recovered from the economic recession. To make matters worse, millennials are now at the age where they would start buying homes, but more are choosing to rent, creating even more demand and further proving that millennials screw everything up. With demand skyrocketing and Americans struggling to make enough money to keep up, housing costs have inflated to the point where many can't afford a place to live. Well, you know what they say.
The national average "housing wage" for 2016 is about $20.30 —without devoting more than 30 percent of income on housing costs. That is& almost a dollar more than 2015's housing wage, which was $19.35. According to City Lab, this is the price average for a very basic, normal two-bedroom home or apartment. As in: bare-bones, no butlers, so swimming pools filled with Jell-O, no helicopters pads. Just a boring unit with two bedrooms.
We’re not talking about luxury apartments here. The report tallies this average hourly wage against the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rent, an annual estimate of what a family might pay to live in a simple apartment.
According to the map's key, the states in the darkest shades of blue demand the highest wages, while the states in the lightest blue have the lowest. Even so, the lowest housing wages are still very inflated when you take into account that the average hourly wage for Americans is actually $15.42, making a two-bedroom unit out of reach for many who work full-time. Guess it's time to scrape together your pennies for rent and have a yard sale. Or like 12 yard sales.
Hawaii demands the highest wage per hour, at a staggering $34.22. That's over four times the amount of the federal minimum wage, which is only $7.25/hour, and until the government raises or replaces all humans with working robots, it is definitely an unsustainable living.
These maps only examine the housing wage at a state-wide level, but things could get even more depressing if you were to look at individual cities. For example, someone would have to make $44.02 an hour to afford a two-bedroom unit in San Francisco, not to mention the size of apartments and homes in bigger cities are often smaller, so you are paying a ton of money for an apartment that is pretty much the sized of a handicap bathroom stall.
You can find more depressing statistics on City Lab's write-up of the findings, including how many hours you would have to work in order to afford a two-bedroom unit in each state. Let's just say that it is so many hours, you would probably never see sunlight again.