Inflation Drives Up Income Tennessee Families Need To Cover Normal Living Expenses

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By Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square –

We all require a certain amount of money each month to pay for normal living expenses, and in recent months, that amount has gotten much higher. Whether at the pump or the grocery store, Americans are being hit with a severe case of sticker shock.

The consumer price index rose an annual 8.5% in March, the highest increase since December 1981. Gas prices accounted for more than half of the rise in costs, but the cost of groceries skyrocketed 10% from the previous year, too.

According to the Family Budget Calculator published by the nonprofit think tank Economic Policy, an average family of four can expect its living expenditures in 2022 to total $86,718. This model assumes a family of two adults and two children – aged four and eight – and a modest yet adequate standard of living. Cost estimates include expenses related to housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities.

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In Tennessee, the estimated cost of living for a family of four stands at $74,197 for 2022, lower than the national average and the seventh lowest among states. Of all living expense categories, health care has the highest annual cost in Tennessee, averaging $14,990 per year for a family of four – or 20.2% of the family’s estimated annual expenses.

The average cost of living for a family of four in the state highlights the financial hardship many Tennessee families face. According to the five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are about 1,726,900 families living in the state, and an estimated 26.6% of them earn less than $40,000 per year.

RankStateAvg. living expenses for family of 4 in 2022 ($)Most expensive cost of living categoryEst. cost of most expensive category, 2022 ($)Families earning less than $40,000 annually (%)
1New York112,751Child Care31,87421.8
3Massachusetts109,184Child Care26,37716.1
5New Jersey97,717Child Care20,14416.6
6Connecticut95,550Child Care18,11316.4
7Alaska94,945Child Care22,44716.3
8Vermont94,517Health Care19,24019.1
9Oregon92,861Child Care19,02620.7
10Washington92,387Child Care18,87616.4
11Colorado92,197Child Care19,41816.3
12Wyoming91,802Health Care21,33718.8
13Virginia91,515Child Care17,34717.5
15Delaware87,980Health Care17,17519.1
16Minnesota87,246Child Care20,63515.6
17Illinois86,153Child Care18,13120.1
18West Virginia85,913Health Care24,48330.6
19Arizona84,889Child Care17,39123.8
20Nebraska84,527Child Care18,93418.9
21Rhode Island84,019Child Care18,58919.4
22New Hampshire83,859Child Care15,61213.8
23Pennsylvania83,813Child Care19,03920.7
24Maine83,440Health Care15,10121.5
26Nevada81,680Child Care17,05123.2
27Montana81,516Child Care17,02522.6
28Utah80,653Child Care16,11116.2
29North Dakota80,475Child Care20,54117.5
30Wisconsin79,856Child Care17,09219.3
31Indiana79,612Child Care18,10722.8
32Kansas79,124Health Care16,76720.5
33Alabama79,057Health Care17,24528.4
34South Dakota78,824Health Care19,48920.5
35North Carolina78,686Health Care15,36125.8
36Oklahoma78,408Health Care16,06227.2
38Georgia78,192Health Care15,34125.1
39Michigan78,057Child Care17,27622.9
40Louisiana76,581Health Care17,52231.1
42Missouri75,570Health Care16,10123.6
43Kentucky74,849Health Care14,95128.8
44Tennessee74,197Health Care14,99026.6
46Ohio73,570Child Care14,48923.3
47New Mexico72,948Child Care14,80031.2
48South Carolina72,542Health Care14,67726.7
49Arkansas70,474Health Care14,41330.5
50Mississippi70,116Health Care17,46033.3
Source: 24/7 Wall Street

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