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Illinois Fifth Best State For Making a Living in 2015

by Laura Barker

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Thanks to a low percent of incidents of workplace injury and low state tax on average income, Illinois was ranked the fifth best state for making a living in 2015, according to personal finance site MoneyRates.

The list, which ranked the top 10 best and worst states for making a living in 2015, was based off the five factors that most affect income and job security: average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, unemployment rates, and incidents of workplace injury.

Here are the top ten best states to make a living in 2015:

1. Texas
2. Washington
3. Wyoming
4. Virginia
5. Illinois
6. Michigan
7. Colorado
8. Delaware
9. Ohio
10. Utah

And the ten worst:

10. Connecticut
9. Rhode Island
8. South Dakota
7. Montana
6. California
5. Vermont
4. West Virginia
3. Maine
2. Oregon
1. Hawaii

With an average income of $45,330 and no state tax on average income, Texas wins best state to make a living in 2015. Hawaii comes in last thanks to a $3,074 average state tax on income and a Cost of Living index of 170.8. Illinois is average for income, and actually has a higher than average unemployment rate, but it’s few incidents of workplace injuries and low state income tax puts Illinois in the top ten.

But the best state to make a living in doesn’t necessarily mean the best paycheck. In fact, Hawaii’s average income ($46,230) is actually higher then Texas’s. And most of the paychecks of the states ranked best to make a living in are only slightly larger than those in the bottom ten.

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