Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Could you make it anywhere?

This graph put together by NPR  based on a recently released government data set purports to show median incomes of American cities adjusted for the relative cost of living there within certain strictures of subjectivity. For example,
What is interesting about this data set is that it accounts for the things that people actually buy in each city. For example, while owning a car may be way more expensive in New York City than it is in Kansas, car ownership is relatively rare in New York City, so it's not going to figure as prominently in a New Yorker's cost of living.
Anyway, the idea is to arrive at some comparable measure of affordability across various metro areas.  One interesting comparison involves New Orleans which adjusts a median income of $29,489 to a "feels like"  rating of $28,939.   New York City adjusts a median income of $37,064 down to $28,799.

In other words, if you're making the median income in either city, you're doing basically just as well.  The reason we keep hearing about how much more "affordable" New Orleans is compared to other places, though, is because the people telling you that are almost always pulling down an income significantly higher than the median. They can afford it. So something must be wrong with you, right?

No comments: