Hooray for Illinois. With all the bad news about the Land of Lincoln, comes good news. You CAN make a living here!

The good news is that Illinois went from #11 to #5 in 2015.

Money-rates.com conducted thedid the research and came up with Top 10 States to Make a Living.

The five factors used to make the determinations were:

  • Average wages
  • State tax rates
  • Cost of living
  • Unemployment rate.
  • Incidents of workplace illness, injuries and fatalities

Here is the Top 10 States to Make A Living

1 Texas
2 Washington
3 Wyoming
4 Virginia
5 Illinois
6 Michigan
7 Colorado
8 Delaware
9 Ohio
10 Utah


According to money-rates.com, Illinois had it's high ranking based on the fact that Illinois has relatively high wages combined with a reasonable tax rate and cost of living. The one negative is that the 6 percent unemployment rate in the state is still above the national average. The Average annual income in Illinois $48,780. State income tax is $1,749.56.

Now for those of you pulling out your hair at the phrase "reasonable tax rate", keep in mind it is based the income tax rate. it's important to note that property tax rates figure in to the cost of living, and are highest in DeKalb and Winnebago counties compared to much of the state. Also, with the likely prospect that legislators in Springfield are once again pushing to increase income tax rates back up to 5% from 3.75%, Illinois could drop in next year's ratings.

By the way, Hawaii, came in last place. According to Money-rates:

While ever-beautiful, is a tough place for workers looking to get ahead. It came in dead last in our analysis of all 50 states, largely due to its sky-high cost of living. Adjusted for taxes and the cost of living, workers in Hawaii get the equivalent value of just 55 cents for every dollar they make


Hmmmm...I'll take Hawaii over Illinois, any day!