Memphis is Number 1!

By Jeff Wallace, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research

If you live in Memphis, here’s something to crow about.  According to an article recently released (May 16, 2019) by, Memphis is the most affordable of the 50 largest U.S. cities for someone with a $100,000 salary. Items factored in the analysis included annual averages for taxes, rent, groceries, utilities, transportation costs, and healthcare costs. After accounting for these costs, an individual with a salary of $100,000 would have $46,093 left over.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, someone with a $100,000 salary in San Francisco would need to come up with an additional $2,734 to make ends meet, with zero left over for anything else. In other words, you can’t make it in San Francisco on $100,000.  Not having a state earned-income tax puts Memphis nearly $7,000 up on San Francisco. The biggest difference? Rent and housing prices. For the price of a broom closet in San Francisco, a nice family home can be rented or purchased in Memphis. The high cost of living in San Francisco is a real barrier to entry to young professionals and entrepreneurs trying to make their mark on the world. In contrast, it is much easier to do so in a lower cost city like Memphis.

Why live like a pauper when you can live like royalty, instead?

For more information and the entire 50 city list, see:  How Far a $100,000 Salary Goes in America’s 50 Largest Cities