Young woman minimum wage worker taking order at a restaurantPaul Vasarhelyi /

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Coast to coast, American cities are filled with unique cultures, communities, and people working to keep the world moving. As large cities grow, so does the cost of living, and more workers are needed to perform important roles.

While labor demand increases in America's growing cities, the federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour has not increased since 2009. (In 2018, the living wage was $ 16.14 an hour, meaning most American families are not even covered by two minimum wage incomes).

However, some states and cities set their own minimum wages to help their citizens with rising costs. Not every state has the same cost of living, but rent is a pretty good indicator of how liveable a city is for minimum wage earners.

To find out which cities are best and worst for minimum wage earners, examined the minimum wage (dollars per hour) and median rent for a one bedroom apartment in the 75 most populous cities in the United States Statistics Bureau.

We then calculated how many hours per week it would take the minimum wage earners living in these cities to pay for a small apartment. In cases where cities had a different minimum wage for larger companies and companies with 50 or fewer employees, we have used the larger companies' minimum wage.

Additional expenses such as food, supplies, insurance, entertainment and transportation did not affect the ranking. Crime statistics, unemployment rates, access to government services, or other quality of life factors were not taken into account.

The following five cities were removed from the ranking due to lack of rental data: Atlanta; Honolulu; Irvine, California; Newark, New Jersey; Durham, North Carolina.

Based on these calculations, we ranked the best and worst cities for minimum wage earners.

Here are the most livable cities for minimum wage earners, followed by the least livable.


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