STUDY: A Family Of Four Needs To Earn At Least $60,000 A Year To Make It In Philadelphia

cost-of-living.jpgINQUIRER: To survive in Philadelphia without food stamps or other government assistance, a family of four needs to make nearly $60,000 a year – a hard-to-fathom “sticker-shock” number that shows how expensive life has become. According to a study being released Thursday, two adults with one preschooler and one school-age child have to take in $59,501 a year to live on a bare-bones budget in the city. In 2008, the same family of four needed $53,611 to make it in Philadelphia. That’s the word from the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania, a highly respected University of Washington analysis that comes out every two years. The problem is that nearly 62 percent of Philadelphia households take in less than $50,000 a year, according to census data analyzed by Dave Elesh, a sociologist at Temple University. A family of four is considered poor if it makes $22,050 a year – the federal poverty level. That measure, which has been used for nearly 50 years, has long been criticized as failing to take a full measure of what it costs to live in America. MORE

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