Median Household Purchasing Power for the 50 States and DC

Recently, we posted an update on the median household income for the 50 states and DC based on the Current Population Survey, a joint undertaking of the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, which includes annual data from 1984 to 2018. Let's now look at the actual purchasing power of those median incomes. For this adjustment, we're using the "C2ER Cost of Living Index" produced by C2ER, the Council for Community and Economic Research.

The median US household income in 2018 was $63,179 (more here). The median incomes by state, rounded to the nearest $100, ranged from the $86.3K high in Massachusetts to the $42.8K low in Mississippi. Here is an alphabetically sorted table showing the median data for the 50 states and DC along with the purchasing power of those dollars based on the C2ER Cost of Living Index. We are using figures for the Cost of Living Index for 2018.

The alphabetical listing above makes it easy to find individual states, but for some additional insight, let's sort the table by the purchasing power column. A quick look at the table below shows the huge spread between $87.5K purchasing power in West Virginia and $41.0K purchasing power in DC.