CA’s “median household income” adjusted for COL is worse than all but 10 states. Actually, all but TWO states!

California has the highest poverty rate in the nation—worse than Mississippi or Louisiana.  We have the highest taxes and now we know the cost of living is worse than all but TWO States in the nation.

“Compared to the national average, the CA COL is “only” 39.1% higher. But compared with the other 49 states, the CA COL is 47.0% higher, which would move us even lower towards the bottom of the prosperous states. Only Oregon and Hawaii would still be lower than our Golden State.”

This is what happens when you have a one Party State—no different from Russia and the Politburo that runs it.  California has the very rich, the very poor and illegal aliens.  The middle class is fleeing, which is why government schools are losing enrollment fast.

CA’s “median household income” adjusted for COL is worse than all but 10 states. Actually, all but TWO states!

Richard Rider Rants, 9/12/19 

CA’s “median household income” adjusted for COL is worse than all but 10 states. Actually, all but TWO states!   Whenever folks complain about California’s oppressive taxes, fees, cost of living, over-regulation, lousy roads, high utility costs and legal climate, progressives usually come back with this:  “But California has the world’s fifth largest economy” — delivered with a smug “gotcha” look.

And it IS true — CA DOES have the fifth largest economy in the world.  But that figure by itself tells us little about the prosperity of the PEOPLE in our Golden State.  For instance, Red China has a much bigger economy (GDP) than California.  Does anyone think that on average the Chinese are more prosperous than Californians?  Well, anyone who’s not a Bernie Sanders acolyte?

Let’s look at the vaunted California prosperity compared to the other states — the only comparison that matters.  Our CA median household income (half make more, half make less) is the 8th best in the nation.  Seven states have a higher median household income.  So CA ranks high, but not the best. See chart #1 below.   But then we have to consider that income’s purchasing power.  We have to factor in the states’ cost of living (COL).  Here’s the shocking result:  When states’ median household income is adjusted for the CA COL, California ranks worse than all but 10 states. That’s right — households in 39 states are on average more prosperous than Californians.
See chart #2 below.
But that’s not all.  Remember that CA holds 12.1% of the entire nation’s population.  Our high COL significantly raises the national COL average. Take CA out of the national average — comparing CA with just the other 49 states — shows the disparity is even worse.

Compared to the national average, the CA COL is “only” 39.1% higher. But compared with the other 49 states, the CA COL is 47.0% higher, which would move us even lower towards the bottom of the prosperous states. Only Oregon and Hawaii would still be lower than our Golden State. This abysmal level of Golden State prosperity is the bottom line reason why middle class Californians are increasingly leaving this lovely place for other states.  In 2018, 156,000 MORE Californians left for other states than came to CA FROM other states (net domestic migration).  I emphasize that the 156,000 is a NET domestic migration figure.  I’m sure that the 2019 figure will be higher.

Our state’s low level of prosperity is further confirmed by California’s real (“supplemental”) 2017 poverty rate.  This rate is the new census bureau standard adjusted for the COL.  CA is still easily the worst in the nation at 19.0%. We are 43.9% higher than the average for the other 49 states. Texas is 14.7%. Our CA poverty rate is 34.6% higher than Texas. https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/demo/tables/p60/265/table5.xls   

NOTE:  Two charts below compare the states median household income.  Of  the two, the second chart is the important one — ranking states by COL-adjusted household income.
–> State Median Household Income Adjusted for State COL

Chart #1
  Rank by Household Income State Median Household  Income COL Index Median Household  Income Adjusted  for COL Median  Household  Income Rank Maryland $80,776 130.2% $62,040 1 New Jersey $80,088 125.4% $63,866 2 Hawaii $77,765 192.1% $40,482 3 Massachusetts $77,385 134.2% $57,664 4 Connecticut $74,168 128.9% $57,539 5 New Hampshire $73,381 108.4% $67,695 6 Alaska $73,181 129.7% $56,423 7 California $71,805 139.1% $51,621 8 Virginia $71,535 101.3% $70,617 9 Washington $70,979 110.2% $64,409 10 Colorado $69,117 105.9% $65,266 11 Minnesota $68,388 101.9% $67,113 12 Utah $68,358 98.5% $69,399 13 New York $64,894 135.3% $47,963 14 Rhode Island $63,870 120.9% $52,829 15 Illinois $62,992 95.0% $66,307 16 Delaware $62,852 107.1% $58,685 17 North Dakota $61,843 98.5% $62,785 18 Wyoming $60,434 95.7% $63,149 19 Oregon $60,212 133.1% $45,238 20 Nebraska $59,970 92.3% $64,973 21 Wisconsin $59,305 96.3% $61,584 22 Texas $59,206 91.5% $64,706 23 Pennsylvania $59,195 98.8% $59,914 24 Iowa $58,570 92.0% $63,663 25 Nevada $58,003 109.2% $53,116 26 Vermont $57,513 116.9% $49,198 27 Arizona $56,581 101.0% $56,021 28 South Dakota $56,521 98.5% $57,382 29 Kansas $56,422 89.6% $62,971 30 Maine $56,277 117.3% $47,977 31 Georgia $56,183 90.6% $62,012 32 Michigan $54,909 89.5% $61,351 33 Indiana $54,181 90.5% $59,869 34 Ohio $54,021 92.2% $58,591 35 Missouri $53,578 88.3% $60,677 36 Montana $53,386 105.0% $50,844 37 North Carolina $52,752 94.4% $55,881 38 Florida $52,594 99.1% $53,072 39 Idaho $52,225 93.8% $55,677 40 Tennessee $51,340 88.9% $57,750 41 South Carolina $50,570 95.9% $52,732 42 Oklahoma $50,051 87.2% $57,398 43 Kentucky $48,375 91.7% $52,754 44 Alabama $48,123 89.2% $53,950 45 New Mexico $46,744 91.4% $51,142 46 Louisiana $46,145 93.6% $49,300 47 Arkansas $45,869 87.7% $52,302 48 Mississippi $43,529 86.7% $50,206 49 West Virginia $43,469 92.1% $47,198 50 US Average $60,336.00 100.00%

Chart #2
Rank by COL-ADJUSTED Household Income State Median
Household
Income COL Index Median Household
Income Adjusted
for COL COL
Adjusted
Rank Virginia $71,535 101.3% $70,617 1 Utah $68,358 98.5% $69,399 2 New Hampshir $73,381 108.4% $67,695 3 Minnesota $68,388 101.9% $67,113 4 Illinois $62,992 95.0% $66,307 5 Colorado $69,117 105.9% $65,266 6 Nebraska $59,970 92.3% $64,973 7 Texas $59,206 91.5% $64,706 8 Washington $70,979 110.2% $64,409 9 New Jersey $80,088 125.4% $63,866 10 Iowa $58,570 92.0% $63,663 11 Wyoming $60,434 95.7% $63,149 12 Kansas $56,422 89.6% $62,971 13 North Dakota $61,843 98.5% $62,785 14 Maryland $80,776 130.2% $62,040 15 Georgia $56,183 90.6% $62,012 16 Wisconsin $59,305 96.3% $61,584 17 Michigan $54,909 89.5% $61,351 18 Missouri $53,578 88.3% $60,677 19 Pennsylvania $59,195 98.8% $59,914 20 Indiana $54,181 90.5% $59,869 21 Delaware $62,852 107.1% $58,685 22 Ohio $54,021 92.2% $58,591 23 Tennessee $51,340 88.9% $57,750 24 Massachusetts $77,385 134.2% $57,664 25 Connecticut $74,168 128.9% $57,539 26 Oklahoma $50,051 87.2% $57,398 27 South Dakota $56,521 98.5% $57,382 28 Alaska $73,181 129.7% $56,423 29 Arizona $56,581 101.0% $56,021 30 North Carolina $52,752 94.4% $55,881 31 Idaho $52,225 93.8% $55,677 32 Alabama $48,123 89.2% $53,950 33 Nevada $58,003 109.2% $53,116 34 Florida $52,594 99.1% $53,072 35 Rhode Island $63,870 120.9% $52,829 36 Kentucky $48,375 91.7% $52,754 37 South Carolina $50,570 95.9% $52,732 38 Arkansas $45,869 87.7% $52,302 39 California $71,805 139.1% $51,621 40 New Mexico $46,744 91.4% $51,142 41 Montana $53,386 105.0% $50,844 42 Mississippi $43,529 86.7% $50,206 43 Louisiana $46,145 93.6% $49,300 44 Vermont $57,513 116.9% $49,198 45 Maine $56,277 117.3% $47,977 46 New York $64,894 135.3% $47,963 47 West Virginia $43,469 92.1% $47,198 48 Oregon $60,212 133.1% $45,238 49 Hawaii $77,765 192.1% $40,482 50

“Median household income” is provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, drawing from U.S. Census data for 2017:
https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/median-annual-income/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

COL figures are from the link below.  The CA COL is 39.1% higher than the national average (an average that includes CA) in 2nd quarter 2019. The CA COL is 66.1% higher than the TX COL. 
https://meric.mo.gov/data/cost-living-data-series
About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.