Macro

These Small Cities Have Big Dollar Energy

Higher salaries in big cities do not always translate into higher standards of living because the cost of living varies greatly across cities. By tracking salaries by location, we’re able to see where employees can enjoy the highest standard of living.

Revelio Labs

11/9/21

Higher salaries in big cities do not always translate into higher standards of living because the cost of living varies greatly across cities. By tracking salaries by location, we’re able to see where employees can enjoy the highest standard of living.

The matrix below illustrates the average salary of job postings and cost of living in an MSA.

plot

So what is the price tag of living in your city? We can use price indices across metropolitan areas and average salaries, to see the ‘premium’ you receive or ‘tax’ you pay on average by living in a city. Here are the cities with the biggest differences between average salaries and adjusted salaries:

plot

Unsurprisingly, living in the Bay Area or DC has the highest price tag. Toledo, Little Rock and Huntsville are the top cities that offer a living standard premium.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are large variations in living standards across MSA’s. Smaller MSA’s in the midwest rank much higher in their average salaries when we take into account cost of living. On the other hand, for certain areas in California, living standards are lowered by cost of living even though average salaries are above median.
  • Bay Area, New York, and District of Columbia have the highest price tag of living in a metro area, unsurprisingly.
  • St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield lead the list of MSA’s where you receive the highest premium for living there.

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