Stretching the Paycheck … not in L.A.

17 07 2012


I recently read an article in a website called NewGeography, that ranked the 51 largest “metropolitan statistical areas” – defined as a geographic region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area.  The cities were ranked on the basis of the best and worst areas to stretch your paycheck.


They examined each area’s average annual wages, and compared them to each area’s adjusted cost of living.  Houston took top honors, but then you’d have to live in Houston. 🙂

Most of the top 15 cities are located away from the East and West coasts:  Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Austin, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Denver and New Orleans.


How did Los Angeles, global headquarters to the RttRL publishing empire, fare? 46th out of 51 – completely unsurprising.

Here’s what the authors of the study had to say about it:

“Long associated with glitz and glitter, Los Angeles does particularly poorly, coming in 46th on our list. The L.A. metro area may include Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Malibu, but it also is home to South-Central Los Angeles, East L.A. and small, struggling industrial cities surrounding downtown. The relatively modest average paycheck of $55,000 annually, 12th on our list, is eaten up by a cost of living that is well above the national average. This creates an unpleasant reality for many non-celebrity Angelenos.”


That’s roughly 16-17 million people struggling to get by. 

Just a little word of discouragement for those contemplating a move West to L.A. – don’t do it! 




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