Idahoans Spending Large Percentage Of Income On Everyday Essentials


By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Idahoans are spending a vast majority of their yearly income on everyday items.

The Gem State sits behind only the State of Mississippi for the lowest personal income levels in the nation, coming in at a little under 34.5 thousand dollars.

A big part of that is going to the everyday essentials.

According to the most recent data... Idahoans spent 14,889 dollars on food, housing, fuel and health care in 2012.

That's over 43 percent of the state’s per capita income.

"It looks like we're 8th highest in the nation, looking at the necessities of percentages of per capita income," explains Jan Roeser, Idaho Department of Labor.

Idahoans’ per capita expenditures on essentials were driven by gasoline and other energy costs, coming in at an average of 1,855 dollars.

The highest was housing at 5,735 dollars, followed by health care at 4,695 dollars, and food costs at 2,604 dollars.

In total, that’s 14,889 dollars.

"You have to break that out into the math a little bit and realize that we are at the very bottom of the barrel as far as per capita income. We are the 5th youngest state... so when we’re dividing up all of our personal income for the state, it gets divided amongst all the kids... and those kids aren't earning any money," Roeser says.

Compare that nationally, the average U.S. essentials household budget is 16,380 dollars or 37.5 percent of per capita income.

"We're hoping that we'll get some higher per capita income statistics in the future. But it's not real clear; our minimum wage is still the very bottom of all the states around us," Roeser explains.

Idahoans also spent another 15,301 dollars on vehicles and other transportation, clothing, furnishing, recreational goods and services.

In total, that's 30,190 dollars.

That ranks 45th among the states and accounts for 87.6 percent of Idaho’s per capita person income.

To find out where other states rank compared to Idaho, log onto

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