Study: To live 'modestly' in Honolulu, families need to earn 6 figures

Study: To live 'modestly' in Honolulu, families need to earn 6 figures
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - $115,583.

That's how much a two-parent, two-child family needs to bring in annually to live modestly in urban Honolulu, according to new county-by-county calculations from the Economic Policy Institute.

The cost of living calculation allows $1,893 a month for rent, $1,074 for food, and $1,548 for child care.

It also sets aside $1,197 a month for "other necessities."

Among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, Honolulu had the eighth-highest cost of living, eclipsed only by counties in California and New York.

The Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan thinktank, developed the calculation in a bid to better reflect what it takes to make ends meet in localities around the country. Its cost of living calculations reflect a "modest" lifestyle: Housing costs are based on fair market rents; food expenses are modeled on a federal "low cost" food plan.

The institute estimated a one-parent, two-child family needs to bring in $106,278 a year to live modestly in Honolulu.

And a single adult needs to earn $51,552. That's assuming monthly housing costs of $1,261, and a monthly grocery bill of $381.

The institute also looked at cost of living requirements for the Neighbor Islands.

A family of four needs $110,331 a year to live comfortably in Maui.

The same family would need $93,441 to live on the Big Island, and $102,480 to live on Kauai.

In the vast majority of places across the country, four-person families need $70,000 to $85,000 a year to cover a modest lifestyle.

But there are a number of outliers, including Hawaii, Alaska and parts of the West.

In Santa Clara County, Calif., home to Silicon Valley, a family of four needs $129,092 a year to live modestly. In New York City, a family of four needs to earn as much as $138,000.

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