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Idahoans spend big chunk of income on essentials

By Rebecca Boone

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 7:00 p.m. MDT

Idaho residents have among the lowest personal incomes in the nation but spend a higher percentage of their money on basic essentials compared to most others, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Paul Vernon, Associated Press

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BOISE, Idaho — Idaho residents have among the lowest personal incomes in the nation but spend a higher percentage of their money on basic essentials compared to most others, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Idaho's per-capita consumer spending was $30,190 — just a few dollars higher than the per-capita spending in Utah and Hawaii. Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi all came in lower.

But Idahoans had to spend a much larger percentage of their income than most — just over 43 percent — to cover the basic essentials of food, housing, health care and gasoline or other energy goods. Only Mississippi residents spent a higher portion of their income on those categories, with almost half of their income going to essentials. The national average was about 37.5 percent.

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