For the first time, the government has measured the inflation-adjusted living costs across states. With the national average being equal to 100, Washington came in at 103.2 in 2012, a relatively higher-cost state (of course, you get what you pay for: Mississippi was lowest). Oregon, by contrast, was 98.8; Idaho 93.6, and Alaska 107.1. You can see 50-state comparisons below:
The data are part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on personal income from 2008 through 2012. In chained 2008 dollars, Washington income grew 2.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. This sweeps in everybody from Bill Gates to the McDonald’s worker, but the measurement adjusts for inflation.
The Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro performed in the second-highest quintile for income growth. The biggest decline was seen in Kennewick-Richland, 3.8 percent.
In state personal-income growth, Washington and Oregon were in the second-highest quintile, Idaho in the third and Alaska in the lowest.