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.