Could you live on California’s new minimum wage?


Lawmakers and labor unions struck a tentative deal Saturday to raise the statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022, but if the law were in effect today, would it be a livable wage? Data analysis from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows how much a household would actually need to earn annually to live in each California county.

The living wage model accounts for basic needs such as childcare, health insurance, housing, transportation and other necessities. It is used as an alternative to the federal poverty measure, which does not take into consideration some of those costs.

Choose a county:

Choose a household type:

One adult

One adult, one child

One adult, two children

One adult, three children

Two adults

Two adults, one child

Two adults, two children

Two adults, three children

*Not adjusted for inflation. Assumes all adults in the household are working. Note: Although the living wage model is a step above poverty, it doesn’t take into consideration extras such as entertainment, eating at restaurants, or being able to save and invest.

Source: Living Wage Calculator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology