Census data released early this year measured Brooklyn’s median income at $44,850. Using CNN Money’s and Expakistan’s cost of living calculator, I explored what a Brooklyn-based $45,000 a year salary would look like in other cities across the world. The results aren’t pretty.
I had to use two different calculations for these estimates. For American cities, I gave CNN Money’s calculator the city in question + $45,000 a year as where I currently live and my current income, then Brooklyn, NY as where I wanted to live. The resultant “comparable salary” figures are shown in the images that follow. The CNN Money calculator was updated with census data December 2013.
For international cities, I used Expakistan. This tool doesn’t calculate comparable salary. Instead, it tells you how much cheaper a city is than any other city. So my approach was to ask, for example, “If I bought $100 dollars worth of stuff in Brooklyn, what amount would I have had to spend to buy the same amount of stuff in Prague?” Since Expakistan says the cost of living in Prague is 59% lower than the cost of living in Brooklyn, my calculation is 100 – 59 = 41; 100/41 = 2.439; 2.439 x 45,000 = 109,756. I round up on all these amounts (so with Prague, I end up with $110k) and sincerely hope my math is correct.
I can’t attest for the accuracy of Expakistan. Some estimations are “based on only a few data points,” such as Oaxaca’s, others are “based on abundant and consistent data,” such as Prague. Expakistan’s calculator also does not distinguish between Manhattan and Brooklyn—it’s all lumped into “New York City.”
Palm Coast, Florida
Rio de Janeiro
Cedar City, Utah
Cape Town, South Africa