In Kansas, the minimum wage is the federal government’s $7.25 per hour.
Before deductions, a full-time employee at that rate would make about $15,000 a year.
That would have to be doubled for a single adult with no children to make a living wage in Johnson County, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, launched in 2004 by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier, shows the hourly rate someone has to make to support themselves or their family. It provides the rate needed for one and two adults with anywhere from zero to three children.
It also only accounts for basic survival expenses and doesn’t include funds for eating out, entertainment, savings or investments.
A living wage
One adult without children would need to make $14.25 an hour to have a living wage in Johnson County. The poverty wage would be $6.13.
With one child, an adult would need to make $30.74. The poverty wage would be $8.29. With two children, a single adult would need to make $38.79 an hour.
The poverty wage would be $10.44 an hour. And at three children, an adult would need to make $50.37 to have a living wage while the poverty wage would be $12.60.
For two adults with one working full-time with no children, they would need $23.70 an hour. At one child, it increases to $28.10 and with two children it goes up to $31.74. With three children, it rises to $34.30.
The poverty wage would be $8.29 with no children, $10.44 with one child, $12.60 with two children and $14.75 with three children.
For two adults who both work full-time, with no children, a living wage starts at $11.85. It rises to $16.76 with one child, $21.29 with two children and $25.28 with three children.
The federal minimum wage of $7.25 sits just below the poverty wage for two working adults with three children at $7.38. With two children, it’s $6.30, $5.22 for one child and $4.14 with no children.
MIT also looked at the typical household expenses including food, child care, medical costs, housing, transportation and civic engagement to determine the living wage estimate.
For a single adult, annual food costs run between $3,246 with no children up to $9,494 with three children. For two adults with one or both working, food costs can range from $5,950 with no children to $11,589 with three.
As for housing, annual costs can range from $8,136 to $15,768 depending on the number of adults and children.
For one adult with no children, the required annual income before taxes was $29,949. With one child, it was $63,937 and with two children it was $80,678. With three children, the income jumped to $104,766.
For two working adults with no children, the required annual income before taxes was $49,298 and $69,720 with one child. With two children, it was $88,559 and with three children it was $105,153.