While it is no secret that the cost of living varies from state to to state, it can also vary widely within a state. Pew Research Center staffer Drew Desilver reports on the the effect that the variations between living costs within a state could have on the battle to increase minimum wage to $15.

Pew examined data on regional price parities (RPPs) to calculate the local price level in the nation’s 381 metropolitan statistical areas and the non-metropolitan portions of states, relative to the overall national price level. These numbers showed the disparity in price levels when comparing the lowest and highest RPP areas in a state:

Price disparities can make a big difference when it comes to comparing wages. When we discussed this subject in a previous post, we found that a $15 nationwide minimum wage would yield $17.08 worth of purchasing power in Macon, Georgia, but only $12.26 in New York City, once the differing price levels in the two cities were taken into account.

Read more >