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Turns out that higher minimum wages do have their intended effect, at least on paper. SmartAsset set about finding out where that's most true.

In order to rank the places with the highest and lowest real minimum wage, we compared the statutory minimum wage to the local cost of living. This allowed us to compare minimum wages across cities. Check out our data and methodology section below to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our final rankings.

Key Findings

  • High cost of living cities in low minimum wage states – The main trend we see for cities that rank at the bottom of our study is high-cost-of-living areas in low-minimum-wage states tend to score poorly. For instance, Virginia and Pennsylvania, two states with the lowest minimum wages, have cities taking four spots in our bottom 10.
  • Washington continues to score well – Thanks to Washington’s high minimum wage many cities in the Evergreen state have high adjusted minimum wages. This year four Washington cities cracked the top 10. All of them have an adjusted minimum wage above $11.

This is SmartAsset’s fourth annual study of the cities with the highest and lowest real minimum wage. Check out the 2017 rankings here.

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