Are You Earning a Living Wage? [Interactive Infographic]

Sophia Coppolla 4m 883 #livingwage

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments on this website are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of Confessions of the Professions thereof. By reading the following article, you do not hold responsible Confessions of the Professions or any contributing authors for the content of this confession. Viewer Discretion is Advised.

Read This Confession To Me

A living wage is the wage a person must earn in order to obtain a function of standard living. It is the minimum requirement for a worker to maintain a decent lifestyle in order to live within a community. Everyone wants to build self-respect, support their family, and grace others with their presence in all  social events of the civil life without shame.

Sadly, while many countries deal with low standards of living, the United States is not exempt from these issues and many people are struggling to earn a living wage. It is shocking to know that a number of people are earning minimum wage or below are not able to sustain or fulfill the minimum necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation and child care.

Families across the United States struggle to afford rent, a house, a mortgage, and cannot even afford to help pay for their children’s increasing education tuition. Many people are unable to repay their loans, credit card debt, and student loans, which results in spiraling debt and a country with inevitable bankruptcy. With the lack of ability to pay for the basic necessities of life, access to medical care is almost virtually nonexistent and causes many health problems and ultimately increasing costs of the healthcare system.

Everyone is not fortunate enough to earn a living wage, so they have to work accordingly to obtain a self-sufficiency standard. The question arises on what a living wage is exactly and what it means for you since the cost of living and the living wage differs in every area of the United States.

This interactive graphic provided by will help you to know what your living wage is, whether you are earning a living wage and how many hours you have to work per week to obtain such an amount. If you are planning a move, or another child, checking to see what your estimated living wage should be is good preparation, or if you are just curious, check out the cost of living in America today, and see if you are making a comfortable living wage. Scroll down and read the instructions before you start.

Living Wage Overview

Is it possible to work 60 hour weeks and still be unable to cover basic expenses? Making minimum wage as a parent of one, you will need to work closer to 70 hours in all fifty states (plus the District of Columbia) just to make ends meet. If I told you that $25.00 an hour full time in D.C. isn’t enough for some demographics to make it, would you believe me? You should. Welcome to the age of the eroded middle class, and the decimated working class. Whether you’re planning a move, or another child, seeing if a new wage is good, or just curious, check out the cost of living in America today, and see if you’re making a living wage.

How To Interact With this Graphic

1. Adjust the slider at the bottom to match your wage.

2. On the left, select how many adults and children are in your household.

3. Select a state to see where you fall between a poverty wage and a living wage.

– States that are brighter mean that you would earn closer to a living wage in that state.
– States that are darker mean that you would earn closer to a poverty wage in that state.
– The light blue triangle above the wage slider shows the minimum wage for that state.
– The dark blue triangle below the wage slider shows the federal minimum wage.
– The box above your wage listing shows how many hours a week you would have to work just to earn a living wage.

4. To see the nation divided into counties, click on “County View”. To see the nation divided into states, click on “State View”.

5. To zoom in on a particular state, first select the state then click on the plus sign that appears in the corner.

– While zoomed in, you can click on individual counties to see their poverty/living wages.
– To return to the national view, click anywhere outside of the state.

Some Interesting Facts

You can discover your own trends on our interactive map, but here are a few to get you started.

1.) Making minimum wage with one child is unlivable in all 50 states. (Assuming a 40 hour workweek.)

USA Map Dark


2.) For a single parent of three making $25.00 an hour living in MA, NY, NH,WI, MD, or HI isn’t possible working less than 50 hours a week. Of the states listed, HI and D.C. are the most expensive, requiring 56.2 hours of work per week just to get by.

USA Map Green


3.) Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are the highest concentration of expensive counties in the nation. For a single parent of three, anything short of $37.00 an hour (close to $80,000 a year) is below a living wage.

USA Map Virginia Prince William County

4.) South Dakota, North Dakota, sections of Montana, and Eastern Washington are some of the most livable places in the United States if you are single and making minimum wage.

USA Map South Dakota North Dakota Montana Eastern Washington

5.) For a married couple making $12.00 an hour, much of the midwest and rural Pennsylvania are livable.

USA Map Pennsylvania

Original Source: