The Tax Foundation dove into the data again, this time to produce the map below of the relative value of $100 by metropolitan area, at least for the more than 380 areas where data were available. Naturally, the variation is greater: $100 is only worth about $81.37 in urban Honolulu, but it can buy you roughly $125.94 in goods and services in Danville, Ill.
In roughly six of seven metro areas, the purchasing power of $100 is greater than its face value, according to our review of the original government data, produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The remaining metro areas are like Honolulu: $100 buys you less than that in goods and services.
The implications of the relative value of money abound. It can influence migration patterns and tax decisions made by policymakers. It can also determine the value of federal assistance: 100 welfare dollars may not buy as much in Honolulu as in Danville. In introducing the new statistics in April, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker even said as much in a statement: “For the first time, Americans looking to move or take a job anywhere in the country can compare inflation-adjusted incomes across states and metropolitan areas to better understand how their personal income may be affected by a job change or move,” she said.
In all, the federal government produced the statistics for more than 380 metro areas, all of which can be pulled up in the Tax Foundation’s interactive map.
Here’s the state map the Tax Foundation published Monday: