Population Health

December 16, 2020

Understanding the amount of income needed to support families in Washington state

Image of data visualization supporting studyThe Self-Sufficiency Standard for Washington State is a report that identifies, county-by-county, the amount of income needed to support families of various sizes without additional help from the government, community or other personal resources.

The latest study, released Oct. 15, shows an increase in the cost of living for almost every family size, in every county, since the last report in 2017.

While counties on the west side of the Cascades generally require higher wages to pay for basic needs (such as $34 an hour in Seattle), the cost of living in Eastern Washington counties grew significantly, too. The self-sufficiency wage for a single person in Walla Walla County, for example, grew 27% over the past three years.

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