You must make this much money just to live alone in Idaho in 2023, new report shows - East Idaho News
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You must make this much money just to live alone in Idaho in 2023, new report shows

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Zachary Strosnider said wages are not keeping up with the cost of living and making it hard for local people to keep living in Boise. He moved into a house with two roommates to help cut costs. | BY DARIN OSWALD

BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – Living alone in Idaho has become more expensive than ever, a new report shows.

Personal finance site GoBankingRates recently released a study detailing the amount of money a person needs to earn to have a living wage in every state. The cost of goods has spiked in the past year, meaning the living wage required for a single person has also increased.

According to the GoBankingRates, the consumer price index report from July showed that prices on the “all items index” rose 3.2% in the past year. The “all items index” includes all major monthly costs, such as food, housing and transportation.

“Whether you’ve shopped for groceries, gas or even a car in the past year, you know that prices have risen significantly since 2022,” GoBankingRates states.


So how much does it cost for a single person to live in Idaho? According to the report, a single Idahoan needs to earn $58,634 a year.

That places Idaho 17th among states with the highest living wage requirements. Some of Idaho’s neighboring states ranked even higher, such as Oregon (eighth), with a living wage of $65,783 a year, and Washington (ninth), where you’d need to make $65,640 annually.

Hawaii was by far the most costly, with $112,411 a year for a living wage. It’s the only state where a person living alone needs to make six figures to earn a livable wage.


While Idaho is the 17th-costliest state for someone living alone, the average weekly salary in the Gem State is tied for the fourth-lowest in the nation.

Idahoans made $1,084 per week on average before taxes in the first quarter of 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That equates to $56,368 per year, which isn’t too far off the required salary of $58,634 to live in Idaho.

But once you add in taxes — a 9.2% federal, 7.7% social security and 2.8% state effective tax rate — the average income for the state drops to $45,292 a year.


Researchers used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Missouri Economic Research Information Center to calculate a single person’s annual cost of necessities. That amount was then doubled to determine a living wage that factors in discretionary spending and savings.


Here are the top 10 most expensive states to live in and the annual wage you’d need to comfortably live alone.

Hawaii: $112,411

Massachusetts: $87,909

California: $80,013

New York: $73,226

Alaska: $71,570

Maryland: $67,915

Vermont: $65,923

Oregon: $65,763

Washington: $65,640

New Jersey: $64,463


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