Big Surprise: Austin is a Terrible Place for Texans Making Minimum Wage
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Austin is a fun place to visit, but I could never live there.
Minimum Wage in Austin Won't Cover the Rent
I know this won't come as a shock to anyone, but Austin ranks high among the worst cities for minimum wage earners.
More specifically, according to data gathered by Move.org, our state capitol is one of the worst cities for single-bedroom renters earning the state's minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. At that rate, you'd have to work about 164 hours every week just to keep a roof over your head.
I suppose you could hunt pigeons and set up some dew catchers if you need dinner.
Which Cities Were Worse?
Austin ranked #3 out of 75 cities, and it wasn't the only Texas city in the top 10 worst states for people taking home those tiny paychecks.
Plano, Texas came in at #2 just behind Atlanta, Georgia at #1. Dallas ranked #8.
Were Any Texas Cities Among the Best for Minimum Wage Earners?
That's a big, chonky NOPE. Bakersfield California was the best big city in terms of folks being able to live on minimum wage, but not a single city in the Lone Star State made the top 10.
You Can Do Well For Yourself in El Paso
Overall, the highest-ranking city for affordability on minimum wage was El Paso. Kudos to you, Sun City!
Consider the Methodology
Keep this in mind: While the good people at Move.org didn't factor transportation, food, insurance, and entertainment weren't factored into the ranking, neither were access to government programs, employment rates, or crime rates.
Austin Freaks Me Out
Okay, it freaks most people out, but like I said, I'd rather be a visitor than a resident. I have friends who live there, and they're all incredibly intelligent and resourceful people with amazing jobs.
Now, I make enough to live fairly comfortably in Temple, but I could never survive in Austin. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment there is $1,295/month!
I'm hoping Temple doesn't get that expensive any time soon. We're a boomtown right now, and more people are moving here every day. Even the rent in my hometown of Troy is a little ridiculous, but not nearly as crazy as Austin.