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Best Rated States for Earning a Living

Illinois or Texas may give workers more bang for their buck

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Here are's 10 best states for earning a living, as well as each state's corresponding annual adjusted average income:


Average Income


1. Illinois $41,987
The unemployment rate isn't low, but the state benefits from relatively high average wages, a low state tax rate and a below-average cost of living.
2. Washington
$41,456 The cost of living may be above average, but so is the typical income, and with no state income tax, you'll keep more of what you earn.
3. Texas
Texas has no income tax, along with a relatively low cost of living and unemployment rate.
4. Virginia $41,120 Virginia has high average wages and a relatively low unemployment rate.
5. Delaware
Delaware's strength is its high average wages.
The high cost of living in Massachusetts is counterbalanced by the highest average wage levels of any state.
7. Georgia
$38,228 A combination of a low cost of living, solid average wages and great banks help Georgia rank high.
8. Tennessee
$38,038 A very low cost of living helps Tennessee overcome relatively low wage levels. The state's taxes don't apply to wages, so you'll keep more of what you make.
9. Colorado
$38,020 High average wages and a reasonable state tax burden helped Colorado make the list.
10. Minnesota
$37,722 Minnesota has relatively high average wages and below-average unemployment.

Didn't see your state? Check out the 10 toughest states for making a living.

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