Financial Security
Living Wage

Maintaining


Living Wage Rate, 2019

What does this measure?

The level of income needed for households of different sizes and types in a region to be able to pay for necessities, including housing and food, without outside assistance.

Why is this important?

The level of income needed to afford basic expenses often exceeds the minimum wage, forcing the working poor to work multiple jobs or seek public assistance to make ends meet. Understanding the true level of income required to cover housing, food, clothing, child care, transportation and medical expenses provides a more accurate benchmark for assessing the jobs available in a region or local area. The living wage also adjusts for regional variation in costs.

How does our county compare?

In Lancaster County in 2019, a family of four with two earners would each need to earn $17.58 an hour, for a total of $73,117 a year, to make a living wage. A family of four with one earner would need $27.34 per hour, or $56,876 a year. A single parent with two children would need to make $32.37 an hour, or about $67,322. Living in Lancaster was slightly more costly than the state as a whole.

Among neighboring counties, the living wage in Lancaster was a bit above Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and York, and slightly below Chester.

Notes about the data

Figures are in 2018 dollars and assume a 40-hour work week. The living wage model is an alternative measure of basic needs. It is a market-based approach that draws upon geographically specific expenditure data related to a family's likely minimum food, child care, health insurance, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities (e.g. clothing, personal care items, etc.) costs. More information on the sources of data for costs is available at http://livingwage.mit.edu/pages/about.

Living Wage Rate, 2019
1 earning adult, 2 children2 adults (1 earning), 2 children2 earning adults2 earning adults, 2 children
Pennsylvania$32.29$27.19$10.03$17.57
Lancaster County$32.95$27.84$10.25$17.89
Dauphin County$32.39$27.29$10.05$17.61
York County$31.92$26.82$9.73$17.39
Lebanon County$31.65$26.55$9.65$17.25
Cumberland County$32.39$27.29$10.05$17.61
Chester County$33.72$28.62$10.69$18.28
Berks County$32.52$27.41$9.98$17.68

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notes: Figures are in constant 2019 dollars.




Annual Income, 2019
1 earning adult, 2 children2 adults (1 earning), 2 children2 earning adults2 earning adults, 2 children
Pennsylvania$67,173$56,561$41,731$73,096
Lancaster County$68,541$57,907$42,628$74,442
Dauphin County$67,375$56,763$41,820$73,275
York County$66,388$55,775$40,474$72,333
Lebanon County$65,827$55,214$40,160$71,750
Cumberland County$67,375$56,763$41,820$73,275
Chester County$70,134$59,522$44,468$76,057
Berks County$67,644$57,009$41,506$73,545

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Notes: Figures are in constant 2019 dollars and assume working 40 hours each week.




INDICATORS TREND
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 English Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 Math Decreasing
Per-Student Spending Maintaining
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
College Graduation Rates Decreasing
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Violent Crime Rate Maintaining
Incarceration Rate Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population Density Increasing
Air Quality Increasing
Water Use Decreasing
Waterways Impaired by Pollution Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Increasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Workers by Occupation Not Applicable
Change in Labor Force Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 Increasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Employer Size Not Applicable
Change in Number of Businesses by Sector Increasing
Change in Total Agricultural Sales Increasing
Spending for Local Government Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Veterans Living in Poverty Decreasing
Working Poor Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Median Home Value Maintaining
Occupied Housing Units Decreasing
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Rent Maintaining
Cost of Renting Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Health Status Maintaining
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Mortality Rates Decreasing
Fatal Drug Overdoses Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Increasing
STEM Graduates Increasing
Science and Engineering Research and Development Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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