HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – A calculator created by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows the amount of money an individual or individuals need to be making hourly in order to support themselves and/or family in each county of the United States.
Researchers at MIT created the living wage calculator that shows the wages needed to cover the basic necessities for families of different sizes in their respective parts of the country.
When calculating the living wage, MIT used the average costs for food, childcare, healthcare, and transportation amongst other factors. These factors were always the lowest cost option. For example, the calculator does not take expenses like eating out or a brand new car into consideration. It instead uses the cost of a basic diet of food prepared at home and the cost of a used car.
Calculator users need to simply select their state and county to figure out the wage needed to cover the basic cost of living.
In Cameron County, a single person with no children working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks out of the year would need to make $14.61 an hour to have their basic necessities covered. A single person with one child, working the same amount of time would need to make $27.93. The living wage increases with each additional child.
A poverty wage is also displayed; a single person with no children in the same county making $6.19 would be considered living in poverty.
In addition to the living wage for a single person, the calculator also displays wages for two adults, with or without children, and if one or both are working.
The following are living wages for a single person with no children in Rio Grande Valley Counties:
- Cameron County: $14.61
- Hidalgo County: $14.49
- Starr County: $14.26
- Willacy County: $14.37
The following are living wages for a single person with no children around Texas:
- Travis County (Austin): $18.04
- Bexar County (San Antonio): $15.88
- Harris County (Houston): $16.95
- Dallas County (Dallas): $17.82
- Nueces County (Corpus Christi): $16.05
- El Paso County (El Paso): $14.34
The following are living wages for a single person with no children around the United States:
- New York County (Manhattan): $25.42
- Los Angeles County (Los Angeles): $21.89
- Orange County (Orlando): $21.89
- King County (Seattle): $21.42
For more information on the Living Wage Calculator, you can visit their website.