It’s no secret to anyone who works for a living that housing in the U.S. has become unaffordable. A new report shows just how much that’s the case. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Americans need to earn $19.35 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment on average around the country. The map below shows how much you need to earn in every state to get that two-bedroom apartment.
If you look at the breakdown by state, you can see some trends emerge. Certainly the central and southern U.S. is cheaper than the coasts. Still, a two-bedroom apartment is unaffordable everywhere. In 13 states, you would need to earn earn over $20 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. In fewer than half of the states in the country could you afford a two-bedroom apartment on less than $15 an hour.
That last number is worth keeping in mind in light of the current national campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage. It means that even at that wage, a two-bedroom apartment would still be out of reach for a single wage earner. Since the 2008 recession, 44% of new jobs have been low-wage, paying under $13.33 an hour. And 30% of all workers in the U.S. earn less than $10.10 an hour, according to Pew Research Center.
Currently, there is no state in the country in which a person can work full-time at minimum wage and afford a one-bedroom apartment. A person earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour would have to work 85 hours per week–more than double full-time–to afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
You can view the full report, including an interactive version of the map above, at the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website.