What $100 buys you: A look at differences in purchasing power across the country.

In our state, we’re well aware of the intense discussions of the appropriate minimum wage. We have $15 here, $12 or $15 there, and so on. Similar discussions are going in metros across the country and in Congress.

Less attention tends to be paid to the considerable differences in the value of a dollar. So this map from the Tax Foundation caught our attention (click here for interactive map).

100 Metro Map 03.png  1354×1181

The TF analysts write:

The yellowest colors on the map, signifying the place where your $100 buys you the least, are in the largest cities in the northeast and California. While cities are almost uniformly more expensive than rural areas due to the higher price of land, some cities – particularly those with relaxed zoning restrictions and a lot of flat land to build on – are cheaper than others.

In Washington, the variation is significant.

$100 in Seattle has the purchasing power of $93.97 in the Seattle metro area. In Wenatchee and Spokane, the purchasing power is $104.17 and $104.49, respectively). In Walla Walla, $100 goes even further, $107.30. The non-metro purchasing power of $100 is $104.28.

Something to think about when promoting state and national wage policies.