GOBankingRates

The Best Place To Live on a $100,000 Salary in Every State

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America is nothing if not diverse. There are plenty of cities where you can afford to live comfortably, or even be “rich,” for less than $100,000. Which location draws your interest could depend on a number of factors, ranging from those that are up-and-coming cities to those that are the best cities to raise a family. Overall, the best cities to live in generally have high livability scores and affordable costs so that you can take home more of your salary.

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GOBankingRates analyzed data from a number of sources, ranging from AreaVibes to Sperling’s Best Places and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to compile this list of the best places to live on a $100,000 salary in each state.

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Factors assessed included median incomes, affordability, amenities, and quality of life. This list may draw attention to locations that don’t appear on all of the typical “best places” lists but just might be some of the best cities in America.

Last updated: Sept. 20, 2021

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Alabama: Madison

    • Livability score: 89
    • Median income: $89,522
    • Total annual necessities cost: $38,796

    See: How Much You Really Take Home From a $100K Salary in Every State

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    Alaska: College

    • Livability score: 63
    • Median income: $89,072
    • Total annual necessities cost: $44,582

    Read: These Are the 50 Best Cities for Renters

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    Arizona: Oro Valley

    • Livability score: 84
    • Median income: $76,484
    • Total annual necessities cost: $44,717

    Related: US Cities With Plenty of Jobs and Cheap Housing

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    Arkansas: Bentonville

    • Livability score: 91
    • Median income: $81,934
    • Total annual necessities cost: $38,513

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    California: Marina del Rey

    • Livability score: 84
    • Median income: $112,050
    • Total annual necessities cost: $69,435
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    Colorado: Dove Valley

    • Livability score: 81
    • Median income: $64,363
    • Total annual necessities cost: $46,964
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    Connecticut: Simsbury Center

    • Livability score: 87
    • Median income: $108,264
    • Total annual necessities cost: $47,531
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    Delaware: Pike Creek

    • Livability score: 87
    • Median income: $114,865
    • Total annual necessities cost: $47,935
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    Florida: Fleming Island

    • Livability score: 90
    • Median income: $91,287
    • Total annual necessities cost: $45,342
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    Georgia: Peachtree City

      • Livability score: 88
      • Median income: $96,577
      • Total annual necessities cost: $48,890

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      Hawaii: Kaneohe Station

      • Livability score: 72
      • Median income: $59,549
      • Total annual necessities cost: $62,647
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      Idaho: Ammon

      • Livability score: 87
      • Median income: $65,019
      • Total annual necessities cost: $38,460

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      Illinois: Algonquin

      • Livability score: 88
      • Median income: $104,532
      • Total annual necessities cost: $44,742
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      Indiana: Carmel

      • Livability score: 93
      • Median income: $116,867
      • Total annual necessities cost: $46,677
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      Iowa: Ankeny

      • Livability score: 96
      • Median income: $81,627
      • Total annual necessities cost: $39,932
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      Kansas: Prairie Village

      • Livability score: 90
      • Median income: $88,635
      • Total annual necessities cost: $45,595
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      Kentucky: Fort Thomas

      • Livability score: 94
      • Median income: $76,837
      • Total annual necessities cost: $38,539
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      Louisiana: Fort Polk South

      • Livability score: 91
      • Median income: $43,943
      • Total annual necessities cost: $28,728
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      Maine: Belfast

      • Livability score: 81
      • Median income: $60,993
      • Total annual necessities cost: $37,638
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      Maryland: Bel Air

      • Livability score: 78
      • Median income: $51,210
      • Total annual necessities cost: $46,300
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      Massachusetts: Clinton

      • Livability score: 83
      • Median income: $54,076
      • Total annual necessities cost: $43,292
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      Michigan: Grosse Pointe Woods

      • Livability score: 96
      • Median income: $97,711
      • Total annual necessities cost: $42,934
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      Minnesota: Champlin

      • Livability score: 93
      • Median income: $87,692
      • Total annual necessities cost: $41,900
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      Mississippi: Petal

      • Livability score: 84
      • Median income: $58,539
      • Total annual necessities cost: $34,128
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      Missouri: Eureka

      • Livability score: 93
      • Median income: $106,000
      • Total annual necessities cost: $41,481
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      Montana: Miles City

      • Livability score: 78
      • Median income: $54,746
      • Total annual necessities cost: $31,895
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      Nebraska: Papillion

      • Livability score: 97
      • Median income: $80,853
      • Total annual necessities cost: $42,528
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      Nevada: Henderson

      • Livability score: 85
      • Median income: $69,940
      • Total annual necessities cost: $48,581

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      New Hampshire: Dover

      • Livability score: 85
      • Median income: $70,757
      • Total annual necessities cost: $43,839
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      New Jersey: Greentree

      • Livability score: 86
      • Median income: $128,797
      • Total annual necessities cost: $44,741
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      New Mexico: White Rock

      • Livability score: 84
      • Median income: $135,929
      • Total annual necessities cost: $42,102
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      New York: Tonawanda

      • Livability score: 88
      • Median income: $49,605
      • Total annual necessities cost: $34,669
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      North Carolina: Holly Springs

      • Livability score: 91
      • Median income: $104,822
      • Total annual necessities cost: $44,704
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      North Dakota: West Fargo

      • Livability score: 90
      • Median income: $81,051
      • Total annual necessities cost: $38,089
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      Ohio: Hilliard

      • Livability score: 98
      • Median income: $95,831
      • Total annual necessities cost: $42,287
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      Oklahoma: Edmond

      • Livability score: 92
      • Median income: $78,692
      • Total annual necessities cost: $41,184
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      Oregon: Silverton

      • Livability score: 82
      • Median income: $63,810
      • Total annual necessities cost: $44,919

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      Pennsylvania: Dormont

      • Livability score: 93
      • Median income: $60,337
      • Total annual necessities cost: $34,189
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      Rhode Island: Cranston

      • Livability score: 78
      • Median income: $66,283
      • Total annual necessities cost: $43,263
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      South Carolina: Mauldin

      • Livability score: 87
      • Median income: $65,737
      • Total annual necessities cost: $35,018
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      South Dakota: Brandon

      • Livability score: 89
      • Median income: $84,075
      • Total annual necessities cost: $38,928
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      Tennessee: Collierville

      • Livability score: 89
      • Median income: $113,789
      • Total annual necessities cost: $47,102
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      Texas: Allen

      • Livability score: 95
      • Median income: $106,736
      • Total annual necessities cost: $45,715

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      Utah: Centerville

      • Livability score: 83
      • Median income: $90,496
      • Total annual necessities cost: $47,827
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      Vermont: Middlebury

      • Livability score: 80
      • Median income: $53,150
      • Total annual necessities cost: $40,179
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      Virginia: Short Pump

      • Livability score: 93
      • Median income: $109,384
      • Total annual necessities cost: $46,191
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      Washington: Liberty Lake

      • Livability score: 88
      • Median income: $70,658
      • Total annual necessities cost: $48,205
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      West Virginia: Teays Valley

      • Livability score: 87
      • Median income: $85,708
      • Total annual necessities cost: $36,263
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      Wisconsin: De Pere

      • Livability score: 93
      • Median income: $70,500
      • Total annual necessities cost: $38,134
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      Wyoming: Green River

      • Livability score: 83
      • Median income: $70,784
      • Total annual necessities cost: $40,142

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        Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article. 

        Photo disclaimer: Photos are for illustrative purposes only. In many cases, the closest major city outside of the city/county mentioned it the article was used.

        Methodology: To find the best place to live on a $100,000 salary in every state, GOBankingRates looked at the five cities in every state with the highest livability score from AreaVibes. In addition to each city’s (1) livability score, GOBankingRates also found (2) the median household income in every city according to the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey and (3) the total annual cost of necessities for households with an annual income of $100,000 in each city, calculated by referencing the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s 2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey data on spending habits for consumers in the $100,000 to $149,999 income bracket and projecting annual spending in six necessity categories in every city using Sperling’s Best Places’ city-level cost-of-living index data. The six necessity categories considered include housing, groceries, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and miscellaneous spending. Cities where annual necessity spending exceeded $50,000 were then removed from consideration, in order to ensure all cities in the final ranking would be affordable for those with a $100,000 salary following the 50/30/20 rule, which dictates that no more than 50% of income should be allocated to necessities. All remaining cities were then ranked against the others in their state on factors No. 1-3, with high livability scores, high median household income and low cost of necessities being scored more favorably, and the highest-scoring city in each state was identified as the best place to live on a $100,000 salary. AreaVibes’ livability scores take into consideration a variety of quality of life indicators, such as crime rates, school quality, employment, amenities and more. Due to the high cost of living in the following states, consideration was expanded beyond the top five most livable cities: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and Oregon. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 23-24, 2020.