GOBankingRates

40 Top Cities Where Your Paycheck Goes the Furthest

Mixmike / Getty Images

Mixmike / Getty Images

The average worker traditionally receives a paycheck every two weeks, and those two checks have to cover housing and utilities, plus everything that the worker eats, drinks and does for an entire month. Needless to say, that’s a whole lot easier to pull off when paychecks are big and the regional cost of living, even if on the higher side, fits within your paycheck. Dozens of cities in the United States offer exactly that dynamic — you just have to know where to look.

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To find the 40 cities where people can spread their paychecks the furthest, GOBankingRates identified the median household income in America’s 100 largest cities, the biweekly paycheck amount, the biweekly cost of necessities (including groceries, healthcare, housing, transportation and utilities), and finally, how much is left over when those necessities are paid for. The study used data from sources including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and Sperling’s Best Places, then ranked the results in ascending order with the final entry being the city where your paycheck will last the longest.

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With more and more Americans working from home, a much larger percentage of the workforce can take their work with them wherever they go. This list profiles the cities that might be worth considering for people looking to get the most mileage from each paycheck.

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40. Chicago, Illinois

  • Population: 2,699,347
  • Median annual household income: $62,097
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,388
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,262
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,126
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39. St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Population: 264,001
  • Median annual household income: $60,798
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,338
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,204
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,134
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38. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Population: 649,821
  • Median annual household income: $56,456
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,171
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,026
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,145
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37. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Population: 491,158
  • Median annual household income: $56,179
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,161
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,013
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,148
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36. Boise, Idaho

  • Population: 228,057
  • Median annual household income: $63,778
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,453
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,303
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,150
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35. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Population: 497,642
  • Median annual household income: $64,179
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,468
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,317
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,151
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34. Aurora, Colorado

  • Population: 379,434
  • Median annual household income: $67,723
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,605
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,452
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,152
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33. Portland, Oregon

  • Population: 650,380
  • Median annual household income: $73,159
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,814
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,628
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,186

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32. Lexington, Kentucky

  • Population: 322,200
  • Median annual household income: $58,954
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,267
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,069
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,198
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31. Durham, North Carolina

  • Population: 276,341
  • Median annual household income: $61,962
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,383
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,180
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,203
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30. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Population: 286,388
  • Median annual household income: $60,063
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,310
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,107
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,204
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29. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Population: 326,332
  • Median annual household income: $57,387
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,207
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,000
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,207
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28. Arlington, Texas

  • Population: 397,269
  • Median annual household income: $63,351
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,437
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,195
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,241
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27. Garland, Texas

  • Population: 238,622
  • Median annual household income: $63,192
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,430
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,178
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,253
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26. Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Population: 424,536
  • Median annual household income: $66,068
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,541
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,286
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,255
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Population: 479,529
  • Median annual household income: $62,213
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,393
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,130
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,263
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24. Bakersfield, California

  • Population: 379,879
  • Median annual household income: $65,687
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,526
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,253
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,273

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23. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Population: 471,686
  • Median annual household income: $67,719
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,605
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,312
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,293
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22. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Population: 873,570
  • Median annual household income: $65,359
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,514
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,214
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,300
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21. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Population: 892,221
  • Median annual household income: $64,567
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,483
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,180
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,304
Davel5957 / Shutterstock.com

20. Irving, Texas

  • Population: 240,475
  • Median annual household income: $66,567
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,560
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,207
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,353
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19. Madison, Wisconsin

  • Population: 258,366
  • Median annual household income: $67,565
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,599
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,235
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,364
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18. Chula Vista, California

  • Population: 268,779
  • Median annual household income: $86,132
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,313
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,923
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,389
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17. Austin, Texas

  • Population: 965,872
  • Median annual household income: $75,752
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,914
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,517
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,397
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16. Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Population: 469,698
  • Median annual household income: $69,720
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,682
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,281
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,400

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15. Henderson, Nevada

  • Population: 309,955
  • Median annual household income: $75,430
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,901
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,465
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,436
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14. Seattle, Washington

  • Population: 741,251
  • Median annual household income: $97,185
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,738
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,251
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,487
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13. Washington, D.C.

  • Population: 701,974
  • Median annual household income: $90,842
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,494
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,992
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,502
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12. Denver, Colorado

  • Population: 715,878
  • Median annual household income: $72,661
  • Biweekly paycheck: $2,795
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,251
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,544
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11. San Jose, California

  • Population: 1,029,409
  • Median annual household income: $117,324
  • Biweekly paycheck: $4,512
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,967
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,545
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10. Irvine, California

  • Population: 272,694
  • Median annual household income: $108,318
  • Biweekly paycheck: $4,166
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,577
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,590
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9. Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Population: 450,882
  • Median annual household income: $78,136
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,005
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,315
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,690
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8. Anchorage, Alaska

  • Population: 292,090
  • Median annual household income: $84,813
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,262
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,532
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,730

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7. Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Population: 254,995
  • Median annual household income: $91,042
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,502
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,739
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,762
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6. Chesapeake, Virginia

  • Population: 242,647
  • Median annual household income: $81,261
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,125
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,325
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,801
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5. Chandler, Arizona

  • Population: 257,076
  • Median annual household income: $85,796
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,300
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,421
  • Amount of paycheck left: $1,879
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4. Plano, Texas

  • Population: 288,870
  • Median annual household income: $96,348
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,706
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,415
  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,291
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3. Fremont, California

  • Population: 234,829
  • Median annual household income: $142,374
  • Biweekly paycheck: $5,476
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $3,173
  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,303
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Gilbert, Arizona

  • Population: 248,349
  • Median annual household income: $99,154
  • Biweekly paycheck: $3,814
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $1,459
  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,354
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

1. Arlington, Virginia

  • Population: 236,434
  • Median annual household income: $122,604
  • Biweekly paycheck: $4,716
  • Total biweekly cost of necessities: $2,236
  • Amount of paycheck left: $2,480

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Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: To find the 40 cities where paychecks go the furthest, GOBankingRates looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey data to find how much the typical American consumer unit spends annually and biweekly on necessities (including groceries, health, housing, transportation, utilities and miscellaneous expenses). GOBankingRates then looked at the 100 largest cities in the U.S. by population according to the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey and found Sperling’s Best Places’ cost-of-living index for each necessity category in every city. Multiplying each city’s index scores by the national biweekly spending estimates in every category, GOBankingRates was able to calculate how much consumers in each city can expect to spend on necessities per pay period. Then, GOBankingRates found the median annual household income in each city from the 2020 ACS and created a biweekly paycheck estimate for workers in each city. Finally, GOBankingRates subtracted the total biweekly cost of necessities in each city from its median biweekly paycheck to find out where workers can expect to have the most money left over after bills every pay period. All data was collected on and up to date as of April 21, 2022.