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North Dakota ranked among top states for discretionary income, new study reveals

Special to Forum Communications

BISMARCK—North Dakota is being recognized as one of the top states in the country when it comes to discretionary income, a new study finds.

The study, released by Trove Technologies, published its results and has North Dakota ranked No. 6 for discretionary income among all states. Bismarck was also ranked as the No. 11 city in the country as part of the same study.

The study is the first of its kind to use data that reflects regional differences in salaries, cost of living, and taxes to most accurately reveal the take-home pay of American workers across 778 different occupations. Discretionary income is defined as the income remaining after deduction of taxes, other mandatory charges and expenditures on necessary items.

According to the study, the average salary in North Dakota is $46,201, which ranks as the 19th-lowest average salary among all states.

The estimated taxes paid in North Dakota, which include federal, state, Social Security and Medicare, average out to $9,440 per year, which ranks as the fifth lowest-taxed state in the country. In comparison, New York's estimated taxes is $14,933 per year on average, ranking it as the worst state in the country in that category, according to the study.

The last category included in the study is basic expenses, which, in North Dakota, averages out to $30,413, according to the study. That places North Dakota as the 28th-lowest state in the U.S. when it comes to average spending on basic expenses per year.

In doing the math, the discretionary income for North Dakota comes out to $6,348 per year. According to the study, that amounts to a 90 out of 100 score, which the study classifies as "excellent."

"North Dakota is in the top echelon of states when it comes to enabling workers to keep more of what they earn," said Michael Pao, co-founder of Trove Technologies, in a release. "Our research finds that housing is substantially more affordable in North Dakota than the rest of the country, with housing expenses coming in at 25 percent lower than the national average."

The rankings are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Tax Foundation and The Council For Community and Economic Research.

To read more about this study, click here.

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