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Which states have the highest and the lowest minimum wages in the US?

Though there is a federal minimum wage, states are free to adjust theirs however they want, or not have one at all.

These are the 10 states with the highest minimum wage in the USA

The federal minimum wage in the United States has not increased in 14 years, the longest period without an increase since the base wage was created in 1938. Currently, the national minimum wage is $7.25. However, some states have set higher wages.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), workers on the federal minimum wage have as much purchasing power as someone in the 1950s.

States do not have to follow the lead of Washington DC however. 30 states, plus the District of Columbia, have adopted wages above the federal benchmark. In total, 24 states raised their minimum wages earlier this year based on increases adjusted for cost of living or inflation or as part of scheduled increases that take effect at the beginning of each calendar year.

Following the increases, the District of Columbia remains the region with the highest minimum wage in the United States at $17 per hour, followed by the state of Washington at $15.74 per hour.

States with the highest minimum wage

  1. Washington: $15.74
  2. California: $15.50
  3. Massachusetts: $15  
  4. New York:  $14.20
  5. New Jersey: $14.13

Five states do not have a state minimum wage and use the federal minimal instead. These are: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The following have theirs aligned at the federal minimum wage.

States with a $7.25 minimum wage

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming