Everyone knows that raising kids is expensive, but raising a child as a single parent is often a daunting task. Every stage of development comes with its own share of expenses above and beyond basic food and clothing and depending on where you live those expenses can be greater or less than average. Thanks to a new map created by CNBC you can now see just how much a single parent needs to earn yearly to simply survive in each individual state.
The map, created by CNBC and using data from MIT’s living wage calculator, shows just how much of a discrepancy there is in cost of living depending on where in the country you live. MIT looks at how much it would cost a single parent, without any outside help from friends or family, to live above the poverty line while meeting their basic needs. The living wage takes into consideration the cost of child care and health care in addition to a basic food budget.
It's also important to note that it doesn't include provisions for dining out, going on vacation or financial planning for the future, including retirement or education. MIT describes their living wage as "perhaps better defined as a minimum subsistence wage for persons living in the United States."
At the low end, the map shows that single parents in Mississippi need to earn a salary of $43,828 before taxes to be able to support raising one child, but that number jumps to $49,401 if the parent has two children. That number jumps again to $59,466 before taxes if a single parent is raising three kids. On the high end, a single parent of one child in California would need to earn almost $20,000 more, with a pre-tax salary of $62,871. That number skyrockets to $74,922 for two children and again to $97,407 for three children.
Not surprisingly, states like California, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland are expensive states for single parents to live, especially if they are raising more than one child. States like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Missouri are some of the most affordable states to live in as a single parent.
This map is definitely eye-opening about the cost of raising a child alone and how greatly it can differ depending on where you live. Remembering that this living wage doesn't allow for savings or "luxuries" like dining out or going on vacation, simply living is definitely getting more and more expensive.