How much does it cost to support a family in the USA? It all depends on where you live.
The Institute for Economic Policy, a progressive, non-profit think tank, on Tuesday updated its “family budget calculator,” which says how much families need to achieve an adequate, albeit modest, standard of living in the United States.
Calculator contains data on the cost of living for 10 family types in all 3,142 counties and in all 611 metropolitan areas.
The calculator takes into account geographical differences and other factors, including housing, food, transportation, childcare, health care and basic necessities. It currently includes food and transportation costs at the local level, where previously only state or national data were available, the EPI says. It does not include expenses such as student loans or retirement.
A budget of $ 58 906 per year for a family with two parents, two children is enough for Brownsville, Texas - the least expensive city in the country. Emphasizing how difficult it is for most American families to make ends meet, the national average family income is only $ 38 203 per year, which makes even this city not so accessible for the American family.
Not surprisingly, San Francisco is the most expensive city with a base budget of $ 148 439 per year for a family with two parents and two children. However, the average household income is $ 108 822 per year.
“Even in less expensive areas, many families will struggle to meet their basic needs,” said Zane Mokyber, EPI Research Fellow. "The good news is that we have many different ways to fix this, from higher minimum wages to childcare reform." EPI hopes the calculator will encourage policymakers to advocate for higher wages.