affordable housing

It takes a Colorado worker who earns an average salary 70.3 hours to afford the rent for a one-bedroom apartment, according to a new study released Oct. 15 by

Colorado ranks No. 39 among the 50 states in terms of how long a resident must work to afford an apartment — just outside the bottom 10 states.

According to the report from, an organization that provides research and recommendations for small to midsize businesses, the state’s median annual wage is $42,310, and the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the state is $1,430. compared the average salary in each state to housing costs to find where salaries go furthest. Knowing the median wage helps business owners determine the amount of payroll taxes they’ll need to account for.

The states where salaries stretch the most can be described as rural, the report found.

Wyoming had the best bang for salary bucks. There, the median yearly wage is $40,240, and median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $650. That equates to 33.6 hours of work to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

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The top 10 states included:

  1. Wyoming

2. North Dakota

3. West Virginia

4. Alaska

5. Oklahoma

6. Montana

7. South Dakota

8. Iowa

9. Kansas

10. Arkansas

While median annual salaries are high in the lowest ranked states, salaries are not the only thing that matters.

In the bottom 10 states, high housing costs in big cities like New York and San Francisco consume a large portion of annual salaries.

The bottom 10 states are:

41. Georgia

42. Illinois

43. Virginia

44. New Jersey

45. Washington

46. Hawaii

47. Florida

48. Massachusetts

49. California

50. New York

View the report and’s recommendations for the best payroll software here.