Adjusting wages for costs of living shows just how far workers' paychecks will go in each metro area.

Governing compiled federal earnings data for private-sector workers, adjusting for the cost of living using an index published by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The adjusted wages varied greatly across the country, ranging from $14.31 in Flagstaff, Ariz., to $29.92 in Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., for 2014. The metro area average for all regions reviewed was $22.39 per hour.

The following map shows estimated 2014 annual average private sector wages after adjusting for cost of living. Data is shown for 191 metro areas with available Labor Department and Cost of Living Index data. See the notes below on how wages were computed.

Click a metro area to display its wage data. Zoom in to view areas clustered together, or pan the map for Alaska and Hawaii.

2014 Average Cost-of-Living Adjusted Hourly Earnings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<= $16   > $16   > $18    > $20    > $22    > $24    > $26    > $28