When you think of the highest-earning regions in the country, my mind goes to New York City, Hollywood, or Silicon Valley. Those places might have a lot of wealth, but when it comes to people working for their money, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a New England state is the highest-earning state in the country. As a matter of fact, the entire Northeast is dominating this list.

As of 2023, Massachusetts tops the list for states where workers make the highest median annual wage.

George Washington Monument at Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Wages are higher in Massachusetts, but the cost of living there is higher as well. According to a recent study, a single person living in Massachusetts needs to make $88,000 to live comfortably. There is a real discrepancy between the median annual income and what is considered a "livable wage". Does this mean most people aren't making what they need to make to afford to live in Massachusetts comfortably?

Row houses in Charlestown, Massachusetts outside of Boston
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The only state where the average annual cost of living is higher than Massachusetts is Hawaii. That checks out.

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On the flip side, Mississippi is the state with the lowest median annual income at $37,500.

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.
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Here are the top 10 states with the highest median annual wages.

Massachusetts $60,690
Washington $59,920
New York $56,840
Alaska $56,140
Connecticut $56,130
Maryland $55,810
New Jersey $54,860
Colorado $54,050
California $54,030
Rhode Island $50,970

If money weren't an object, what state would you live in? Would you base your decision on weather, proximity to loved ones, job opportunities, or another factor entirely?

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