Here’s How Much You Need To Earn per Hour To Afford Rent in Every State

MANAGE MONEY - BUDGETING
See which states demand the most from your paycheck.
Updated Aug. 8, 2023
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If you’re renting, you know how much you need to pay each month. But have you ever considered how much you need to earn per hour to afford rent?

As you consider ways to help pay the rent where you live, you'll see from the data here that in some areas, you'll need to find ways to make extra money to afford even a small home. 

Here's how much you'll need to earn per hour to rent a two-bedroom home in your state.

About the numbers

Mix and Match Studio/Adobe Man holding money and a house

A National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) report examined how much you would need to earn per hour to afford a two-bedroom home in each state. They call this the Housing Wage.

The "wage needed to afford rent" estimates a full-time worker's hourly wage to rent a two-bedroom home at the fair-market rate (FMR). They also assumed that the wage-earner would spend 30% of their income on rent, the “accepted standard of affordability.”

To get the "wage needed to afford rent" number for each state, the NLIHC multiplied the FMR by 12 to get the yearly cost and then calculated 30% of that amount.

For example, the average FMR for a two-bedroom rental in the U.S. is $1,486.25. Multiplied by 12 months gets us a total of $17,835 in rent for the year.

If we only want to spend 30% of our earnings on rent, we'll need to multiply the annual rent by .3 for a total yearly income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental of $59,450 ($17,835 / .3 = $59,450).

To get the "wage needed to afford rent," we simply divide the total annual income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental in each state by 52 (weeks per year) and then by 40 (hours per work week.

That gives us $28,58 as the average "wage needed to afford rent" in the U.S. ($59,450 / 52 = $1,143; $1,143 / 40 = $28.58).

Arkansas: #51

Belkina Margarita/Adobe father with little daughter on hands

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $846/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $16.27/hour

Minimum wage: $11.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 59

West Virginia: #50

Synthex🇺🇦/Adobe brothers playing video game together

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $965/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $16.64/hour

Minimum wage: $8.75

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 76

Mississippi: #49

New Africa/Adobe happy family playing with puppy

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $895/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $17.21/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 95

South Dakota: #48

Fabio/Adobe older married couple talking

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $909/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $27.49/hour

Minimum wage: $10.80

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 65

North Dakota: #47

Seventyfour/Adobe happy father with two sons

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $925/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $17.79/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 98

Kentucky: #46

Prostock-studio/Adobe senior couple holding opened door

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $931/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $17.90/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 99

Wyoming: #45

DC Studio/Adobe diverse couple having fun

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $933/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $17.94/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 99

Oklahoma: #44

Krakenimages.com/Adobe woman sitting on wheelchair studying

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $936/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $18.00/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 99

Alabama: #43

leszekglasner/Adobe asian girl lying on sofa

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $943/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $18.13/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 100

Iowa: #42

deagreez/Adobe good-looking man

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $943/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $18.13/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 100


Missouri: #41

Rene La/peopleimages.com/Adobe black woman with green diet

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $964/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $18.54/hour

Minimum wage: $12.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 62

Kansas: #40

sofiko14/Adobe adult with disability holding mobile

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $973/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $18.71/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 103

Nebraska: #39

didesign/Adobe two lovers moving in

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $984/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $18.91/hour

Minimum wage: $10.50

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 72

Indiana: #38

Robby Fontanesi/Adobe women sitting on the sofa

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $988/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $19.00/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 105

Ohio: #37

Zamrznuti tonovi/Adobe A senior couple

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $993/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $19.09/hour

Minimum wage: $10.10

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 76

Montana: #36

snowing12/Adobe young asian male tech user

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,002/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $19.28/hour

Minimum wage: $9.95

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 77

Louisiana: #35

Arnell/peopleimages.com/Adobe woman watching tv

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,008/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $19.39/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 107

New Mexico: #34

pikselstock/Adobe mature couple using a laptop

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,034/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $19.88/hour

Minimum wage: $12.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 66

Wisconsin: #33

Mnica/Adobe mature man washing dishes

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,056/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $20.32/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 112

Tennessee: #32

Miljan Živković/Adobe couple read books on sofa bed

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,303/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $20.76/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 115

South Carolina: #31

Fxquadro/Adobe businessman is enjoying his morning coffee

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,117/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $21.48/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 118

Idaho: #30

ProjectUA/Adobe A middle-aged man, wearing glasses, sitting on a chair on the balcony and enjoying the sunny weather.

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,120/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $21.53/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 119

North Carolina: #29

Stratford/peopleimages.com/Adobe happy couple in kitchen

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,120/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $21.54/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 119

Michigan: #28

Pixel-Shot/Adobe woman with magazine sitting

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,1226/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $21.65/hour

Minimum wage: $10.10

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 86

Pennsylvania: #27

BestForYou/Adobe woman relaxing in cozy chair

Average rent for 2-bedroom home: $1,228/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $23.61/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 130

Minnesota: #26

simona/Adobe woman using laptop

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,254/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $24.11/hour

Minimum wage: $10.59

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 91

Illinois: #25

Studio Romantic/Adobe couple in love back home

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,279/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $24.59/hour

Minimum wage: $13.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 76

Maine: #24

Prostock-studio/Adobe cheerful guy inviting people

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,286/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $24.73/hour

Minimum wage: $13.80

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 72

Georgia: #23

PheelingsMedia/Adobe adult woman with coffee cup

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,287/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $24.75/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 137

Utah: #22

Clayton Daniels/peopleimages.com/Adobe couple in new home

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,297/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $24.93/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 138

Texas: #21

Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com/Adobe keys from realtor

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,090/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $25.06/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 136

Vermont: #20

rh2010/Adobe guys having fun while making salad together

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,328/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $25.54/hour

Minimum wage: $13.18

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 78

Delaware: #19

New Africa/Adobe father and daughter singing

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,357/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $26.09/hour

Minimum wage: $11.75

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 89

Alaska: #18

Drobot Dean/Adobe father washing dishes

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,368/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $26.32/hour

Minimum wage: $10.85

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 97

Virginia: #17

DC Studio/Adobe young couple eating noodles together

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,396/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $26.84/hour

Minimum wage: $12.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 89

Rhode Island: #16

Prostock-studio/Adobe family relaxing on couch

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,444/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $27.78/hour

Minimum wage: $13.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 85

Nevada: #15

Drobot Dean/Adobe smiling woman working on laptop

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,455/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $27.99/hour

Minimum wage: $11.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 100

Oregon: #14

Pixel-Shot/Adobe young woman sitting on grey sofa

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,545/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $29.72/hour

Minimum wage: $14.20

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 84

New Hampshire: #13

kite_rin/Adobe young man relaxing on sofa

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,553/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $29.86/hour

Minimum wage: $7.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 165

Arizona: #12

peopleimages.com/Adobe girl baking in kitchen

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,556/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $29.93/hour

Minimum wage: $13.85

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 86

Florida: #11

insta_photos/Adobe teen guy wearing headphones

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,591/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $30.59/hour

Minimum wage: $11.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 111

Maryland: #10

Southworks/Adobe young couple celebrate moving

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,616/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $31.08/hour

Minimum wage: $13.25

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 94

Connecticut: #9

Studio Romantic/Adobe young married couple sitting on sofa

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,660/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $31.93/hour

Minimum wage: $15.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 85

Colorado: #8

Gorodenkoff/Adobe smiling young woman using smartphone

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,671/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $32.13/hour

Minimum wage: $13.85

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 94

New Jersey: #7

New Africa/Adobe happy family on sofa

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,742/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $33.50/hour

Minimum wage: $14.13

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 95

District of Columbia: #6

Antonioguillem/Adobe happy roommates moving home

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,838/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $35.35/hour

Minimum wage: $17.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 83

Washington: #5

Drazen/Adobe woman packing her belongings

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $1,889/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $36.33/hour

Minimum wage: $15.74

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 92

New York: #4

Srdjan/Adobe happy senior old grandfather

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $2,084/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $40.80/hour

Minimum wage: $14.20

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 113

Massachusetts: #3

Stratford/peopleimages.com/Adobe black woman watching tv

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $2,165/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $41.64/hour

Minimum wage: $15.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 111

Hawaii: #2

Jesse B/peopleimages.com/Adobe couple in new home

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $2,175/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $41.83/hour

Minimum wage: $12.00

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 139

California: #1

Studio Romantic/Adobe funny man in bathing suit

Average rent for a two-bedroom home: $2,197/month

Wage needed to afford rent: $42.25/hour

Minimum wage: $15.50

Weekly hours need to work at minimum wage: 109

Bottom line

Kristian/Adobe family admiring their new apartment

The cost of living in each U.S. state depends on many factors, including demand, economic opportunities, and overall quality of life. 

Some states have very affordable and more accessible options than others. Look local to get a more accurate view of what's happening in your state. 

If you're ready for that move, check out some ways to get ahead financially to help you get into a home instead of renting an apartment.

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Author Details

Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.

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