What is a dollar worth?
If you answered that it’s worth a dollar, you must be living in Illinois. A research report by U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found that the prices for a particular basket of goods and services—food, transportation, housing and education—are higher in some states than others. Illinois came in at almost exactly the average; a $100 bill will buy $100.70 worth of the items. People living in the District of Columbia, the nation’s most expensive area, would have to pay, on average, $118.10 for the same basket of items.
The chart shows how costly these basic necessities are in each state. Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Alaska are all expensive places to live, on average, while the dollar goes further in Mississippi (where you would pay just $86.70 for the BEA’s package of goods and services), Arkansas, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Missouri.
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