Comparing median income and cost of living data statewide, financial technology company SmartAsset’s latest study shows the counties in Washington where people can get the most out of their money — with the South Sound making a few appearances on the list.
The study looked at cost of living relative to income to determine “purchasing power.” First, two different cost of living numbers were calculated: a baseline cost of living for each county, and another based on expenditures typical to someone making the county’s median income. Those two numbers were combined using a weighted average based on how close each county’s median income was to the minimal livable income in that area. SmartAsset then subtracted income taxes paid in that area to come up with a “weighted cost of living,” then determined that number as a percentage of median incomes to come up with a purchasing power index.
Highest on that index? Kitsap County, with a purchasing index of 79.14, a cost of living of $36,013 and a median income of $62,941. Benton and Franklin counties come in second and third, respectively, with purchasing power indices of 78.23 and 75.13 respectively.
Thurston County (74.23) is fifth on the list, just behind King County (74.54). Pierce County, in seventh, isn’t far behind at 73.20.