Low-tax states top among best places to make a living in 2019

By Personal FinanceFOXBusiness

California's high-tax state exodus

Dolly Lenz Real Estate CEO Dolly Lenz and Dolly Lenz Real Estate Managing Director Jenny Lenz on high taxes in states such as California and New York driving residents to leave for lower-tax states.

While the overall U.S. economy is strong, conditions for residents in different states can vary dramatically.

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American workers and retirees, for example, are starting to leave states where a larger share of their hard-earned dollars are being consumed by tax obligations – like New York and New Jersey.

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But taxes aren’t the only reason people are relocating. Americans are also looking for places with more temperate climates, plentiful job opportunities and lower costs of living.

So where can workers make the best living in the U.S.?

Personal finance website MoneyRates.com analyzed median incomes, cost of living, unemployment rates, state income taxes, among other factors, to determine where the dollar stretches the furthest.

Here’s a look at the results:

Wyoming

Wyoming topped the rankings out of all 50 states, earning it the title of the best place to make a living in 2019.

The factors that gave it top marks include no state income tax and a cheap cost of living. Meanwhile, it also has the 15th highest median income across the U.S.

However, workers might want to beware – the state ranked fourth lowest in terms of workplace safety.

Wyoming was also a top destination for retirees in 2018, as previously reported by FOX Business.

Washington

Assuming the number two spot on the list is Washington. Like Wyoming, residents in this state are also not subject to state-levied income taxes.

Washington fell from its number one ranking, where it placed the past two years. However, the state has consistently finished either first or second in all nine years MoneyRates.com has conducted the analysis.

Texas

Like its two predecessors, Texas residents pay no income taxes to the state.

Bolstered by a low cost of living, the median income in the Lone Star State is about $37,100. The unemployment rate is 3.8 percent.

Texas ranked third in last year’s study, too.

Minnesota

Workers in Minnesota fare favorably when compared with those in other states, placing it fourth among the top states to earn a living this year.

The unemployment rate is about 3.1 percent. The state also has a low cost of living, coupled with a median income of about $42,630.

Michigan

Michigan has a low cost of living – in fact the fifth lowest of all states.

The median income in the state is about $37,620, while the unemployment rate is 4 percent.

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Rounding out the top 10 were:

Missouri (6)

Illinois (7)

Ohio (8)

North Dakota (9)

Colorado (10)

On the flip side, the worst states to make a living included Hawaii, Oregon, California, Maine and Montana.