With on-going debates about minimum wage, we look at how many hours at the current minimum wage it takes to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

First, we have to consider that the cost of the average one-bedroom apartment definitely varies from state to state.  In compiling their numbers, the National Low Income Housing Coalition used the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, or the state minimum in cases where it exceeds the Federal minimum, and the "affordability" definition that rent and utilities should account for no more than 30% of a household's gross income.

The following is the number of hours someone in each state would have to work at current minimum wages, either state or federal depending on which is higher, and maintain a one-bedroom apartment at the 30% affordability level.  As you'll see, there is not a single state where someone could work the standard 40-hour full-time work week and afford a one-bedroom apartment.  And in some cases, there are states where one would have to work 3 full-time jobs to pay their monthly rent.  Using the 2015 Fair Market Rent level of $806 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, someone on the federal minimum wage would have to work 86 hours a week to afford their apartment.  However, some states have drastically higher averages for their apartment rates.

Note:  Underlined states have a state minimum wage that exceeds the federal.

  1. Puerto Rico - 48 hours
  2. South Dakota - 49 hours
  3. West Virginia - 53 hours
  4. Arkansas - 54 hours
  5. Montana - 54 hours
  6. Nebraska - 54 hours
  7. Ohio - 54 hours
  8. Kentucky - 57 hours
  9. Iowa - 58 hours
  10. Michigan - 58 hours
  11. Oregon - 58 hours
  12. Idaho - 59 hours
  13. Missouri - 59 hours
  14. Oklahoma - 59 hours
  15. Alabama - 61 hours
  16. Mississippi - 61 hours
  17. Indiana - 62 hours
  18. Kansas - 62 hours
  19. North Dakota - 62 hours
  20. New Mexico - 64 hours
  21. Wyoming - 64 hours
  22. Tennessee - 65 hours
  23. North Carolina - 66 hours
  24. South Carolina - 66 hours
  25. Arizona - 67 hours
  26. Rhode Island - 67 hours
  27. Wisconsin - 67 hours
  28. Minnesota - 68 hours
  29. Louisiana - 69 hours
  30. Utah - 69 hours
  31. Vermont - 70 hours
  32. Maine - 71 hours
  33. Nevada - 71 hours
  34. Georgia - 72 hours
  35. Texas - 73 hours
  36. Washington - 73 hours
  37. Colorado - 75 hours
  38. Illinois - 75 hours
  39. Florida - 77 hours
  40. Pennsylvania - 78 hours
  41. Alaska - 79 hours
  42. Connecticut - 84 hours
  43. Massachusetts - 87 hours
  44. Delaware - 89 hours
  45. New Hampshire - 89 hours
  46. California - 92 hours
  47. Virginia - 97 hours
  48. New York - 98 hours
  49. New Jersey - 100 hours
  50. Washington D.C. - 100 hours
  51. Maryland - 101 hours
  52. Hawaii - 125 hours

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