Think About It: Stunning State Stats - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 2, 2016

Think About It: Stunning State Stats

You hear it all the time- paradise has its cost, the high cost of living here, the realities of island living. Last week's detailed breakout by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism of where income earned on O`ahu goes was a stark reminder of just how tough it is here. 43% of our income goes to housing. That compares to about 27% nationwide. Almost three-years ago, CNN MONEY reported that 76% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Fewer than 25% of Americans have enough money saved up to cover six-months of expenses. With the cost of food, housing, transportation and utilities per paycheck all being the highest right here in the Aloha State,  and it's no surprise that we're #1, according to GOBankingRates, of all states when it comes to a percentage of folks living a paycheck-to-paycheck existence.

These statistics are pretty staggering when compared to other noted locations. If you earn $100,000 here that equivocates to earning $75,000 in Los Angeles and Seattle, $69,000 in Portland, and $59,000 in Las Vegas. Yes, your dollar goes a lot further in places that we hear and see more local people turning to. And yes, I do realize it is very often a personal choice where you choose to live, but the numbers are still eye-opening.

The average American household income a couple of years back was about $73,000. Here, DBEDT says it was $83,000 per household. That $10,000 differential surely cannot cover all of the costs associated with living in Honolulu and allowing for much, if any, savings. So the next time you wonder about the current frustration, apathy, anger, disillusionment that's allowing for some wild and unexpected political races nationally, you can surely start with the stasis and animosity we've seen for years in Washington D.C., and the lack of growth people see and feel in their own personal pockets. Political gamesmanship is not helping our plight. And we're certainly not immune right here in isolated Hawaii. Think about it…

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