This is how much money you need to make to live comfortably in the Chicago area

A new study from Smart Asset breaks down how much money people living in the largest Metro areas in the United States need to make in order to live comfortably.

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area, which was grouped together, finished below the midway point, coming in at 15th on the list.

According to the study, a Chicago-area resident without children would need to make $65,500 after taxes to live comfortably.


Aerial view, looking north, of Chicago, Illinois, April 2019. Visible in the foreground are the neighborhoods of the Prairie Shores, the Near South Side, with downtown Chicago in the distance. (Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images)

The study is based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator, which uses the cost of housing, food, transportation, medical care and more.

In order to determine a "comfortable" lifestyle, the study used the 50/30/20 rule, which requires 50% of after-tax income to go to needs, 30% to go to wants, and 20% for savings or debt payments.

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Unsurprisingly, the San Francisco-Oakland-Berkely area was the most expensive place to live, requiring $84,026 after taxes to live comfortably. California showed up multiples times on the list with the San Diego (2) and Los Angeles (6) areas also landing in the top ten.

The Chicago area was the most expensive in Illinois. The St. Louis, Missouri area, which includes parts of southwestern Illinois, finished at number 25 on the list requiring $57,446 to live comfortably.

Salary After Taxes Needed to Live Comfortably in the 25 Largest Metro Areas

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA, $84,026
  2. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA, $79,324
  3. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, $78,752
  4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, $78,524
  5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, $77,634
  6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, $76,710
  7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV, $76,194
  8. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA, $74,086
  9. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO, $70,892
  10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL, $67,740
  11. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA, $67,060
  12. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL, $67,056
  13. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA, $66,580
  14. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ, $65,670
  15. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, $65,500
  16. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, $65,148
  17. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX, $64,742
  18. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, $62,908
  19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, $62,798
  20. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, $62,260
  21. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC, $62,110
  22. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, $61,678
  23. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX, $59,270
  24. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI, $58,358
  25. St. Louis, MO-IL, $57,446

FOX 4 KDFW contributed to this report.