Hawaii was the worst state to make a living in 2014 due to a 157 percent higher than average cost of living and poor work environment, while Washington was one of the best states to make a living due to below average cost of living and unemployment. Texas ranked as the second best state to make a living because of its low state taxes, unemployment rate and cost of living, according to Forbes.
Wyoming, Virginia and Illinois were also good states to make a living in 2014. Wyoming's average wage was below national average, but it does not have a state income tax, and cost of living and unemployment were low. Virginia had one of the highest average wages in the United States and low unemployment. Illinois had high average wages, low cost of living and reasonable taxes, according to MoneyRates.com.
Oregon, Maine and West Virginia were among the worst states to make a living in 2014. The cost of living in Oregon was 28.5 percent higher than the national average, and wages were only slightly above the national average. Maine had a high cost of living, low average wages, and the highest rate of workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities. West Virginia had the highest unemployment rate at 7 percent, the lowest average wages and above average cost of living, notes MoneyRates.com.