For single people living in the U.S., earning enough money to make ends meet looks different for each person. But location can play a major role, since the cost of housing, food, insurance and other necessities varies from place to place.
MIT's Living Wage Calculator estimates the minimum income necessary for a single person to cover their living expenses and stay above the poverty line, without outside help, across the U.S.
The calculator takes into account a number of factors, including the cost of food, health care, housing, transportation and other necessities, such as personal care, clothing and housekeeping supplies. It also considers each state's minimum wage and looks at annual changes in consumer spending patterns.
The most recent update to the calculator included a few changes to its methodology. The calculator's estimates now include cell phone and Wi-Fi expenses, as well as civic engagement expenditures, such as pets, clubs and movie or museum excursions.
Overall, living costs have been increasing for Americans. They are spending more on where they live, the food they buy and how they get around.