How High is the Minimum Wage After Adjusting for Cost of Living?

The cost of living in the U.S. varies widely—which is why broad minimum wage hikes at the federal or even state level can have major negative economic consequences. Taking into account the price of housing, transportation, groceries, utilities, and other expenses, a new report from SmartAsset explores how the statutory minimum wage level compares to the hourly earnings floor when adjusted for the cost of living in major U.S. cities. For example, according to the analysis’ methodology, Denver, Spokane, and Buffalo have the highest “real” minimum wages when considering the cost of living. View more below: