The Insane Amount Of Money You Need To Earn To Live In This Highly-Desirable US Metro Area

Individuals who live in Dallas-Fort Worth have to make $65,000 annually post-tax in order to live comfortably.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

Dallas-Forth Worth

The cost of living is rising everywhere across the United States, and while pay has also increased in some areas, it hasn’t been enough to compete with rising expenses, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Axios. Individuals who live in the Northern Texas area have to make $65,000 annually post-tax in order to live comfortably, according to 2022 data collected by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.

This year, inflation has increased by eight percent, but nationally, salaries only raised by five percent. And that doesn’t count the rise in the cost of living in various areas throughout the country. Looking at the 25 biggest metro areas in the U.S. (including Dallas-Fort Worth), the cost of living has gone up by 20 percent, now costing individuals $68,499 when it used to cost $52,013 to live comfortably.

Dallas-Fort Worth is partly responsible for the uptick in the averages, with its $65,000 cost to live comfortably for an individual who doesn’t have children. To compare, in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area (often considered one of the more expensive locations in the country), the minimum cost of living for an individual without children is $22.51 per hour, or $45,020 (if working 50 weeks out of the year), post-tax. 

In New York, the minimum wage is $15 per hour (pre-tax), it’s not quite at the $22.51 rate that marks comfortable living, but it is way beyond the metropolitan area’s poverty line, which starts at $6.53, according to the calculator. On the other hand, Dallas-Fort Worth (and the rest of Texas) offers a $7.25 minimum wage, which is barely above what the calculator marks as the poverty line for the location—$6.53.

Still, Dallas-Fort Worth is not the most expensive place in the country. That honor falls to San Fransisco, San Diego, and Boston. According to SmartAsset, individuals would need to earn a minimum of $84,026 to live comfortably in San Fransisco, $79,324 in San Diego, and $78,752 in Boston. All of which are after taxes.

The cost of living in other areas in Texas besides Dallas-Fort Worth is pretty high as well, considering the minimum wage. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area requires a salary of $62,260, while San Antonio-New Braunfels requires a salary of $59,270. That equals about $17.29 and $16.43 per hour, respectively.

So far, all of these numbers are regarding an individual living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. However, the average household size in Dallas is two people, and the average household income is $58,231 before taxes. According to the 2021 census, about 18 percent of Dallas residents were living in poverty. Additionally, the census also showed that men in Texas earn about $10,522 more than women annually, despite modern efforts to close the wage gap.

For this data, the 50-30-20 rule was used to determine what “living comfortably” means. This rule breaks down after-tax income into three parts: 50 percent goes to living expenses, 30 percent to disciplinary spending, and 30 percent to either savings and investments or paying off debt.