Published On: Nov 26 2012 07:17:18 AM CSTUpdated On: Nov 26 2012 01:00:00 AM CST
Financial site Money-rates.com used cost of living, average salary, unemployment rates and workplace conditions to rank the best and worst states to make a living. Here are the top and bottom 10:
10. (Worst) South Dakota -- $33,121 average adjusted income
10. South Carolina -- Wages are too low to be justified by the low cost of living. Also, workplace conditions here scored below the norm.
8. West Virginia -- $32,297
7. California -- $31,459
4. Rhode Island -- In Rhode Island, a high cost of living more than neutralizes the benefits of a high average income and a low state income tax burden.
5. Montana -- $31,256
3. Mississippi -- Here, the problem is that wages are very low even when measured against the state's low cost of living. On top of that, unemployment is high.
3. Vermont -- $30,433
2. Maine -- $29,703
1. Hawaii -- This state's primary problem is a cost of living more than 50 percent higher than the norm, which makes it very difficult to make a decent living. Wages in the state are not nearly high enough to compensate.
10. (Best) Massachusetts -- $38,793
9. Delaware -- $38,802
5. Utah -- Cost of living and unemployment in the state are very low, and workplace conditions are above average.
7. Wyoming -- $39,745
6. Michigan -- $40,421
4. Colorado -- The greatest strength Colorado has going for it is a high average income level in a state where the cost of living is about average. Workplace conditions are considered decent, and unemployment is about average.
4. Illinois -- $41,865
2. Texas -- While the typical income in Texas is only about average, the state benefits from a cost of living and unemployment rate that are both lower than average.
1. Washington -- Washington's strengths include one of the highest average incomes in the nation, no state income tax and workplace conditions that ranked in the top 10 in the Gallup-Healthways survey, according to Money-rates.com.
7. Virginia -- Virginia benefits from high incomes, a moderate cost of living and low unemployment. However, the typical tax burden is heavier than average.