The real value of $100 in NJ
The standard value of $100 across the nation buys just $87.64 worth of goods in New Jersey, the map shows. Only New York, Hawaii and the District of Columbia are more expensive.
“A big reason is high urbanization,” said Lyman Stone, economist at the Tax Foundation’s Center for State Tax Policy. “Of course, a big part of that is spillover from the New York-Newark metro area.”
Stone said there are policy implications as well. Restrictions on housing construction and high property taxes contribute to the higher cost of living.
In Mississippi, by comparison, $100 is enough for $115.74 worth of goods, essentially meaning that Mississippi residents are about 15 percent richer than their incomes suggest.
Stone noted the map shows a state’s income level does not necessarily correlate with a state’s price level.
While income in New York, in dollars, easily tops income in Kansas, residents of Kansas actually have a greater amount of purchasing power.
“A lot of the states that we stereotype as being low income or poor are richer than we might’ve previously thought,” Stone said.