What made you choose where you’re living right now? Maybe it’s where your parents and grandparents settled, so it’s home for you, too. Perhaps it was the only place you could find a job after college, or maybe you threw a dart at a map and ended up where you are. No matter where your location is, you can guarantee that it’s playing a role in your financial stability.
To get an idea of which locations in the country are more prone to money problems, personal finance website WalletHub analyzed the 150 largest metro areas in the United States according to several factors. The five major categories included rankings for each city’s credit score, spending, savings, risk exposure, and earning power — ultimately ending in a cumulative score of that city’s “WalletFitness.”
Not surprisingly, certain factors about each city determine how many of its citizens struggle with money issues. “Location matters majorly due to maximizing your earning power,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Cheat Sheet in an interview. The unemployment rate, earnings gap between men and women, and poverty rates — often uncontrollable by most employees — can drastically affect take-home pay.
Sadly, that only encompasses one of the five major rankings categories WalletHub took into account. Credit scores also matter a great deal, as do factors like whether someone has the proper health insurance and is saving for emergencies and for retirement. A city might not control what’s in your bank account directly, but your location can still affect those items.