One Map Reveals Just How Hard It Is to Pay Your Rent in America

One Map Reveals Just How Hard It Is to Pay Your Rent in America

Real estate database Zillow has published a map with the minimum wage required to afford the median rent in metropolitan areas across the country without spending more than 30% of income, and the numbers are simply staggering.

To give you a taste: 

In the New York area, an individual must earn $46.86 per hour to afford median rent, or $93,720 per year.

Around San Francisco, a person needs to cough up $59.72 an hour, or $119,440 a year. 

In the Los Angeles area, $48.58 hourly, or $97,160 a year, should do the trick. 

Around Washington, D.C., a $41.98 hourly wage or $83,960 a year is needed. 


Booming areas aren't the only places where the costs of living are prohibitively expensive for a vast majority of earners (and impossible for low-wage workers). Zillow found that single-earners making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour cannot afford a typical rent property in a single one of the over 15,000 cities and towns analyzed without spending more than 30% of their annual income on rent. In Beecher, Michigan, the least expensive city on the map, a single renter would need to make $10.64 per hour, which is more than both the federal minimum wage and the state's minimum wage of $8.15 an hour. Households with at least two minimum wage-earners can affords rent in 135 cities and towns — less than 1% of those analyzed. 

You can play around with an interactive version of the map here.