No matter what you do for a living, there's a problem we've all been facing for some time. Prices on products, services, rent, utilities, etc. are consistently rising, while our salaries are not. With that said, there does appear to be a small glimmer of hope in the distance as Bankrate reported back in September that the gap between inflation and annual wages is slowly closing. However, based on their data, the two won't meet until late next year (2024) leaving many of us living in Indiana to continue making sacrifices to make ends meet. So, how much would you need to make annually to feel like you weren't "barely scraping by?" Recent data reveals it might not be as much as you think.

What is the Average Salary in Indiana?

Before we look at what you need to make to get by, let's look at what the average Indiana resident is currently making so we know where we stand. According to November 2023 data from the ADP Research Institute, the average annual salary in America is $58,500. The Hoosier State currently sits a little behind that at $56,100, which is a 5% increase from November 2022.

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The Cost of Living in Indiana

Fortunately, although it may not feel like it sometimes, the difference doesn't hit us too hard as the cost of living here is better than in other states. According to RentCafe, using data from the Cost of Living Index published by the Council for Community and Economic Research, The cost of living in Indiana is 9% lower compared to the rest of the country. Here's a look at how they broke it down:

Canva using data from
Canva using data from

The Annual Salaray a Single Person Needs to Make a Living Wage in Indiana

Based on data recently released by the financial education site, GoBankingRates, while lower than the national average, the average single person's income in Indiana is more than enough to earn what it considers a "living wage." The site used "the 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey data (the latest available) for a single person from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the annual cost of necessities based on data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s 2023 Q1 Cost of Living Data Series."

The site's researchers then doubled the total annual cost of those necessities to determine a living wage for each state which also factored in discretionary spending and savings.

After the numbers were crunched, that wage came out to be $49,855, the 15th lowest in the country. By comparison, our neighbors to the west in Illinois came in 13th at $49,372, while Michigan and Ohio required slightly more at $50,049 and $50,157, respectively. Meanwhile, our neighbors to the south in Kentucky required the lowest in our region with $47,318, making it the 5th lowest in the country.

While it's certainly possible that you feel like you're barely getting by even if you make what GoBankRates says you need to be making, it could be worse. The state with the highest needed wage is Hawaii at $112,411, but whose current median pay level according to the ADP Research Institute is $51,000, if that's any consolation.

You can see the full living wage report at GoBankingRates.

[Sources: GoBankingRates / Bankrate / ADP Research Institute / RentCafe]

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