As the cost of food, transportation, and clothing inches upwards, the cost of rent continues to skyrocket. Even with a rise in housing construction and an improving economy, the demand for affordable apartments far outpaces the supply. Meanwhile, hourly wages remain stagnant, with more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce earning near minimum wage, according to the Pew Research Center.
If you’re looking to rent an apartment, you may stumble into trouble if you earn less than $20.30 per hour. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, this is the hourly wage you must earn to rent an average two-bedroom apartment without spending more than third of your income on housing.
Experts caution against spending more than 30 percent of your income on your rent, and some apartment managers will not allow you to lease a unit if you are spending over a third of your wages.
The good news? Some states are dramatically cheaper than others. While you may have to earn more than $30 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental in a pricey state like Hawaii, you can sneak by with under $15 per hour in states like Alabama and Iowa. To find out how much you need to earn in your state, check out the graphic and guide on recommended income for renters below.
Here are the hourly wages you must earn in order to rent a two-bedroom rental apartment in each state without shelling out more than 30 percent of your income: