Nurse pay vs. cost of living in each state

The state where average nurse pay goes the furthest is Kentucky, according to data from ZipRecruiter and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Living Wage Calculator.

The minimum cost of living in each state in the U.S. eats up the majority of the average nurse salary, with Hawaii being the most costly. Nurses in the state who are single with no children are left with only $10,763 for the year, after minimum living expenses are paid.

On the other end of the spectrum, single nurses with no children in Kentucky are left with $26,394, or 45 percent of their annual pay, after minimum living expenses.

The minimum cost of living in each state was provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Living Wage Calculator. The cost of living is for a single adult with no children, before taxes.

State

Avg. annual nurse salary

Avg. cost of living

CoL salary burden

Kentucky

$58,441

$32,147

55%

Nebraska

$62,194

$34,519

55.5%

Oklahoma

$57,805

$32,750

56.7%

Wyoming

$55,844

$31,719

56.8%

Arkansas

$56,930

$32,336

56.8%

West Virginia

$54,222

$32,144

59.3%

Washington

$64,818

$38,573

59.5%

South Dakota

$51,840

$30,895

59.6%

New Hampshire

$60,321

$36,023

59.7%

North Dakota

$53,399

$31,976

59.9%

Michigan

$56,507

$34,028

60.2%

South Carolina

$60,166

$36,340

60.4%

Idaho

$54,640

$33,603

61.5%

Missouri

$54,943

$33,890

61.7%

Tennessee

$51,886

$32,135

61.9%

Delaware

$59,395

$36,896

62.1%

Indiana

$52,129

$32,844

63%

Ohio

$51,510

$32,460

63%

Nevada

$53,446

$33,788

63.2%

Montana

$53,010

$33,946

64%

Texas

$52,895

$34,127

64.5%

Alaska

$53,870

$34,786

64.6%

Maryland

$63,465

$41,054

64.7%

Pennsylvania

$53,303

$34,680

65.1%

Vermont

$56,846

$37,044

65.2%

Virginia

$61,378

$40,362

65.8%

Colorado

$60,298

$39,846

66.1%

Wisconsin

$51,615

$34,120

66.1%

Louisiana

$50,386

$33,585

66.7%

Illinois

$56,623

$37,782

66.7%

Alabama

$49,428

$33,094

67%

Iowa

$49,653

$33,657

67.8%

Kansas

$50,247

$34,073

67.8%

Rhode Island

$54,148

$37,019

68.4%

Maine

$54,024

$37,184

68.8%

New Mexico

$49,035

$33,792

68.9%

Arizona

$52,465

$36,252

69.1%

Mississippi

$47,070

$32,572

69.2%

Utah

$50,877

$35,311

69.4%

North Carolina

$51,270

$35,655

69.5%

Minnesota

$51,955

$36,898

71%

Connecticut

$54,876

$39,526

72%

Georgia

$50,611

$36,686

72.5%

New York

$62,387

$45,738

73.3%

Florida

$47,702

$35,858

75.2%

Massachusetts

$58,450

$45,517

77.9%

California

$58,179

$45,382

78%

Oregon

$51,027

$40,587

79.5%

New Jersey

$53,207

$42,775

80.4%

Hawaii

$56,510

$45,747

81%

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