Highway in Texas
According to a new study by SmartAsset, Houston, El Paso and Lubbock need the least salary to live well. These cities are heavily Latino populated. Pixabay.com/RJA1988

NEW YORK CITY - A series of cities with heavy Latino populations across the U.S. are ranked among those with the cheapest cost of living in the country, a new study by Smart Asset reports.

In a recent study titled "Salary Needed to Live Comfortable," SmartAsset used the MIT Living Wage Calculator data to gather the basic cost of living for an individual with no children and for two working adults with two children. The data includes the cost of necessities including housing, food, transportation and income taxes.

The study found that, on average, an individual needs $96,500 for sustainable comfort in a major U.S. city. This includes being able to pay off debt and invest for the future. It also found that it is even more expensive for families, who need to make an average combined income of about $235,000 to support two adults and two children without the pressure of living paycheck to paycheck.

Among the cities where the lowest salaries are needed to live comfortably, Texas cities occupied the top three. These cities are also one primarily populated by Latinos.

Houston, Texas takes the first spot. In order to live comfortably in this city, a single adult must make about $36.10 an hour. Annually, they must make $75,088. And in order to live comfortably, the combined salaries for two working adults with two children must be around $175,219.

Houston's Hispanic or Latino population comprises around 49% of the total (almost 3 million people as of 2021), making it the fourth largest city with the Hispanic population in the U.S, according to Census data.

El Paso, Texas, took the second spot, with single adults needing to make an hourly wage of $36.18 and an annual salary of $75,254 to live comfortably. Combined salaries for two working adults with two children in this city needs to be about $180,461.

In El Paso, about 81% of the population identify as Hispanic or Latino (about 552,000 people). El Paso has also raised national attention due to the increased influx of immigrants over the past year who have made their way to the city. In the last trimester of 2023, for instance, more than 13,000 migrants were bused out of El Paso and into other U.S. cities.

The third city taking the last place in the podium was Lubbock, Texas, where a single adult needs an hourly wage of $36.24 and an annual salary of $75,379 to live comfortably. For two working adults with two children, a combined salary of $181,043 is needed.

Around 37% of the population in Lubbock (94,800 people) identify as Hispanic or Latino.

Conversely, among the cities with the highest salaries needed to live comfortably, New York City, New York; San Jose, California and Irvine, California occupy the top three. In these cities an hourly wage for a single adult needs to be $66.62, $65.74, and $60.96 respectively to live comfortably.

SmartAsset recommends applying the 50/30/20 budget method in order to live with sustainable comfort. Under this method, 50% of your salary should be allocated to your needs, such as housing, groceries and transportation; 30% toward wants like entertainment and hobbies; and 20% toward paying off debt, saving or investing.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.