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10 Toughest States for Earning a Living

Hawaii may not be heaven on earth after all

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


Average Income


1. Hawaii
Hawaii has an extremely high cost of living, coupled with a fairly high tax rate.
2. Maine

$29,159 Maine has a combination of relatively low wages and an above-average cost of living.
3. Montana $29,496 Montana makes the list primarily because of the state's low average wages.
4. California
$29,772 California has many fiscal woes, high taxes, high unemployment and a high cost of living.
5. Vermont    
Vermont has a fairly low unemployment rate, but relatively high state taxes and cost of living.
6. Oregon    
Oregon has an above-average rate of unemployment, a high cost of living and a high state tax rate.
7. Rhode Island
The cost of living, state taxes and the unemployment rate are all higher than average in Rhode Island.
The cost of living in Mississippi is cheaper than the average for the country as a whole, but the state's average wage levels are among the lowest in the country.
9. West Virginia
$31,357 West Virginia has a low cost of living and very low wage levels.
10. South Carolina $31,627 South Carolina suffers from a combination of below-average wages, above-average state taxes and above-average unemployment.

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