Graph depicting Income in Red and Blue States- Adjusted for Cost of Living
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Sources: Census   BEA

Data: Excel

Last updated: January 17, 2015


Median Income Compared to Support for Obama- Adjusted for Cost of Living

Description: This graph compares the median household income to the percentage of the vote won by President Obama in that state in 2012. The median household income figures have been adjusted to take cost of living into account.

Discussion: Democratic states fare significantly better in terms of median income even after the figures have been adjusted for cost of living. 11 of the top 15 states for adjusted median income are blue while 11 of the bottom 15 states are red. The differences are slightly more extreme if you do not adjust for cost of living and look at the per-person median income rather than the median household income.

One should be somewhat skeptical of cost of living adjustments. It is difficult to control for intangible differences between types of locations. For example, a person may opt for a smaller apartment when moving from a small town to a big city in exchange for ready access to museums, but cost of living adjustments see only that the apartment is smaller, not that it is nearer to museums. Ultimately, there is no objective way to compare the value of living near good hiking against the value of living near good nightlife, and without holding the value constant, comparing the price is misleading.

See more graphs about: Income  

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