Another week, another breathless report showing how darn expensive and wealthy D.C. is. Last week, we reported that D.C. ranked 10th in the most millionaires in the country per capita category when compared with states. (Maryland had the most, and Virginia came in at No. 6.)
This week, a report from Cheat Sheet says D.C. has the third-highest percentage of households earning at least $150,000 a year among cities with at least 500,000 people. San Francisco and San Jose ranked first and second, respectively.
Cheat Sheet then determined how much a household would need to earn a year in order to live “comfortably.” The report used $75,000 as the “magic salary number” based on a 2010 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study indicating that someone’s day-to-day emotional well-being doesn’t increase after a household income hits the $75,000 threshold. Cheat Sheet then adjusted that income level up or down using a cost-of-living calculator and comparing each city to Phoenix — “a city with a moderate cost of living and a median income that’s close to the national average.”
From there, it concluded a person would need $108,092 to live comfortably in D.C. (Note: The report indicates an individual would need this amount to live comfortably, while the 2010 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study determined that $75,000 was the amount of money a household needs to hit the happiness threshold.)
Here’s how the cost of comfortable living in D.C. compares with the other most expensive locations.