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How Far Does a Dollar Go in 356 American Cities?

May 21, 2014

I took a significant pay cut when I moved from Philly to the Midwest. Despite the difference in my paychecks, I was shocked to find that I could afford a way nicer apartment here than I ever had in Philly. In fact, my lifestyle didn’t change too drastically when we relocated. This, of course, is because the cost of living varies drastically across this country, and even though I was being paid less money here, I felt like I was still making as much as I had made before. Crazy, right? We had a hard time understanding it ourselves.

When you’re relocating, it’s important to be able to account for how far your income will go in a new city. Luckily, the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently came out with data that breaks down both the average income and what that income “feels” like (or how it compares to the cost of living in that city) for 356 cities across the US. This can be a really useful tool to help you understand what life will be like in your new city or town. NPR prettied up the data with a searchable list. Click here to take a look. Check out the original numbers at

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