Here's how much a $100,000 salary is actually worth in Chicago

How far can a $100,000 salary take you in the United States?

A survey by financial technology company SmartAsset determined the cities that give you the most bang for your buck.

Seven of the ten best values are in Texas, a state with no income tax and low cost of living, with El Paso as the most affordable.

After deducting taxes and adjusting for the cost of living, a $100,000 salary on average is worth $77,885 across the 10 Texas cities.


Your $100K will get you the furthest in Memphis, Tennessee. The money is equal to a take home pay of 86,000 after taxes and cost of living adjustments.

In Chicago, that same salary is equal to just over $59,000. But the Windy City is doing better than New York City.

In the Big Apple, $100,000 feels like just under $36,000. It ranks last in SmartAsset’s analysis.

And $100,000 also doesn’t go very far in California.

Five out of the 10 cities that are ranked in the bottom 10 are located in the Golden State.

A six-figure salary has long been a milestone for American workers. But the new study shows times have changed and $100,000 simply isn’t quite what it used to be in many cities.

Cities where 100K goes furthest 

  1. Memphis, TN: $86,444 take-home pay
  2. El Paso, TX: $84,966 take-home pay
  3. Oklahoma City, OK: $84,498 take-home pay
  4. Corpus Christi, TX: $83,443 take-home pay
  5. Lubbock, TX: $83,350 take-home pay
  6. Houston, TX: $81,171 take-home pay
  7. San Antonio, TX (Tie): $80,124 take-home pay
  8. Fort Worth, TX: $80,124 take-home pay
  9. Arlington, TX: $80,124 take-home pay
  10. St. Louis, MO: $79,921 take-home pay

Cities where 100K doesn’t go far

  1. New York City, NY: $35,791 take-home pay
  2. Honolulu, HI: $36,026 take-home pay
  3. San Francisco, CA: $36,445 take-home pay
  4. Washington DC: $44,307 take-home pay
  5. Long Beach, CA (Tie): $44,623 take-home pay
  6. Los Angeles, CA (Tie): $44,623 take-home pay
  7. San Diego, CA: $46,167 take-home pay
  8. Oakland, CA: $46,198 take-home pay
  9. Boston, MA: $46,588 take-home pay
  10. Seattle, WA: $48,959 take-home pay

This study comes as inflation continues to push the cost of living higher. 

According to a recent survey, 51% of people who earned more than $100,000 reported living paycheck to paycheck in 2022 – 7% higher than a year earlier.

FOX TV Stations contributed to this report.