Having a very high average household income hurts a state.
The reason? Everyone that wants to help the FSP will not be able to move to the chosen state. Some people will have to take care of their elderly parents; others might not be able to move because the cold hurts the arthritis in their knees or they are divorced and want to be near their children. There are many other possible reasons. People might think they are making some progress in warm, dry, and sunny New Mexico but they are still willing to help the chosen state out, financially. Should the FSP just give up on these people? NO! We should encourage them to help us out the only way they can, by financially supporting the various freedom projects that will be going on in the chosen state.
Right about now you are saying, that makes sense, let them help us. However, what does that have to do with mean household income? Simply this, money goes further in a state with a low mean household income than in a state with a high mean household income. The people from New York City, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta that make $60,000 per year are likely to give the same amount of money to the freedom movements of the chosen state no matter which state is picked. That money will go much further in a state like Wyoming where the mean household income is around $38,000 than it will in New Hampshire where the mean household income is $50,000 or Alaska where the mean household income is $52,000.
Secondly, choosing a state with a mean household income that is not disproportionately higher than most of the country helps the movement in other ways. If a woman moves to the chosen state and has saved up $20,000 that she wants to give to the freedom movements of the state, this money will have more value in a state like Wyoming or North Dakota than it will in a state like New Hampshire or Vermont. It is not a coincidence that Wyoming and North Dakota have lower costs of living than New Hampshire and Vermont do. The general pattern is that the higher the mean household income of a state or city; the higher the cost of living in that state or city is.
Housing costs must also be considered as part of this equation. If a family owns 50% of a house that costs $300,000 in California and sells that house they will have around $150,000 to buy a new house in the chosen state. Now, would that $145,000 buy a better house and more land in a state like Wyoming will low housing and land costs or a state like New Hampshire with high housing and land costs? The answer is clear, the family benefits from moving by moving to Wyoming and in punished if it moves to New Hampshire. What about the opposite? For example, if an average family from Alabama or Oklahoma wants to move to the chosen state and owns 25% of their $100,000 house or has around $25,000 in equity, will this money go further in Wyoming with low housing costs or New Hampshire with high housing costs? It might be so hard for the family to get a house in New Hampshire they are forced to live in a low-quality apartment. I know this is not the end of the world (I currently live in a apartment) but it is still an issue for that family.
Wyoming does not have a low mean household income. Wyomingâ€™s average household income is around $1,000 below the national average. Four of the other candidate states have higher mean household incomes than Wyoming while five have lower ones. This puts Wyoming about in the middle. If you want to take this strategy to the extreme, Montana is lowest with an average household income of $33,000. However, in my opinion, that is too low. Wyoming, on the other hand is just around the national average. This is good because this means the money coming to Wyoming will be worth more in the local economy than the money would be in Alaska or New Hampshire but at the same time the people from Wyoming will be able to afford to buy out of state products and travel out of state.
Also, Wyoming has a low cost of living at only 93.4% of the national average. This means the average family would benefit by moving to Wyoming. Delaware, New Hampshire, and Alaska, on the other hand, have high cost of living levels. There levels are 103.2%, 107.9%, and 123.1% of the national average, respectively. Montana has the lowest cost of living at 91.1%, but also has the lowest average household income. After Montanaâ€™s average household income is adjusted for cost of living it is still the lowest at $35,900. Wyoming, after adjusted for cost of living is $40,400 or just over the adjusted average household income in the United States.