How Much is a Buck Worth in Delaware?

The Tax Foundation used U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis pricing data from 2016 to show the value of $100 in each state.

Once upon a time, our little state was a reliable bellwether for presidential elections – so went Delaware, so went the country. 

After a nearly flawless 60+ year run, that trend ran aground in 2000, when the state’s increasingly Democrat-leaning voters went back-to-back for Al Gore and John Kerry, snubbing the twice-elected George W. Bush.  The electoral disconnect continued in 2016.

Yet while we’ve lost that middle-of-the-road political hallmark, we can now lay claim to a unique economic characteristic: our wondrous diamond state, famously the home of tax-free shopping and what’s generally viewed as an affordable cost of living, is one of only four of its kind where a buck is still worth exactly a buck.


The evaluation of purchasing power in Delaware comes from a new assessment of Bureau of Economic Analysis data produced by 24/7 Wall Street that shows, not surprisingly, that a dollar goes a lot longer in places like Alabama than it does in California.

According to the report:

A dollar goes the furthest in America’s poorest states. Goods and services are less expensive to accommodate the relatively low-income residents. These areas are primarily located in the South. Conversely, the most expensive states – where the dollar has the least purchasing power – are home to some of the nation’s largest and most affluent cities.

Included among the most affordable are states such as Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, where a dollar is worth $1.15.  But watch out if you plan to buy a house, car or groceries in places like New York, California or the tropical paradise of Hawaii because your dollar will only be worth about 85 cents.  That means consumer purchasing power is about 35% greater in the land of cotton vs. the Big Apple.


And the other three states that join Delaware in ensuring a dollar is worth $1?  Rhode Island, Florida and Oregon.  Not bad company.

From the report:


  • Value of a dollar: $1.00 (14th lowest)
  • Personal income per capita: $51,449 (21st highest)
  • Income adjusted by cost of living: $46,305 (23rd lowest)
  • Median home value: $252,800 (17th highest)

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