The map is based on a relatively new, but powerful measure called Regional Price Parities, which reflect the differences in price for a number of different goods in each state and has implications for everything from job relocations to public policy.
Take the example below, from the Tax Foundation. Per capita income is almost the same in Nebraska and California, but when you consider purchasing power, Nebraska surges ahead in terms of the value of said income, according to the Tax Foundation.
On Jan. 1, the minimum wage will jump to $9.75 in Alaska and just $8 in Arkansas. That seems like a big discrepancy, with Alaska being home to the more-progressive minimum. But if you consider the fact that the value of a dollar in Alaska is about 80 percent the value of that same dollar in Arkansas, then Alaska’s high $9.75 minimum wage translates to… just about $8 in Arkansas.