Financial Security
Living Wage

Not Available


Living Wage Rate, 2018

What does this measure?

The level of income needed for households of different sizes and types in a region to be able to pay for necessities including housing and food without outside assistance.

Why is this important?

The level of income needed to afford basic expenses often exceeds the minimum wage, forcing the working poor to work multiple jobs or seek public assistance to make ends meet. Understanding the true level of income required to cover housing, food, clothing, child care, transportation and medical expenses provides a more accurate benchmark for assessing the jobs available in a region or local area. The living wage also adjusts for regional variation in costs.

How is our region doing?

In MetroWest in 2018, a family of four with two earners would each need to earn more than $19 an hour, or about $80,500 a year combined, in order to meet the living wage level. A family of three with one earner needs an hourly wage of $36 to earn $74,800 a year to make ends meet. Two earners with no dependents must earn $11 an hour or $46,700 combined. MetroWest was slightly more expensive than the state as a whole at all family levels.

Notes about the data

Figures are in 2018 dollars and assume a 40-hour work week. The living wage model is an alternative measure of basic needs. It is a market-based approach that draws upon geographically specific expenditure data related to a family's likely minimum food, child care, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities (e.g. clothing, personal care items, etc.) costs. More information on the sources of data for costs is available at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More information on the sources of data for costs is available at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Living Wage Rate, 2018
1 earning adult, 2 children2 adults (1 earning), 2 children2 earning adults2 earning adults, 2 children
Massachusetts$35.66$29.25$11.10$19.21
Region$35.96$29.56$11.22$19.36
Middlesex$37.05$30.64$11.71$19.90
Norfolk$37.40$31.00$11.87$20.08
Worcester$33.44$27.03$10.10$18.10

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notes: Figures are in constant 2017 dollars.




Annual Income, 2018
1 earning adult, 2 children2 adults (1 earning), 2 children2 earning adults2 earning adults, 2 children
Massachusetts$74,175$60,843$46,189$79,904
Region$74,799$61,474$46,688$80,521
Middlesex$77,062$63,730$48,701$82,769
Norfolk$77,789$64,479$49,362$83,518
Worcester$69,547$56,215$42,002$75,277

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notes: Figures are in constant 2017 dollars and assume working 40 hours each week.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Decreasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing


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