The United States of America is one of the most attractive countries in the world for living, which is confirmed by the annual migration flow exceeding 1 million people. People from all over the world – from neighboring Mexico and Canada, to remote regions of the Middle East and Central Asia – want to come to the U.S. territory. Today there are many legal ways to immigrate to the United States, including such popular ones as employment and participation in the Green Card lottery.

The U.S. population is about 340.9 million people. Including the children of aliens already born in this country, about 25 percent of local residents are immigrants. The cherished dream of the majority of migrants is reception of the Green card or even better American citizenship. Below we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of moving to the USA, costs and prices of living, tax rates, demanded professions and salaries, education and medicine in the USA in 2024.

Living in the United States

Pros and cons of living in the United States

The United States is a very diverse country with different laws, tax rates, prices, weather conditions and many other parameters in each region. According to the well-known American publication US News & World Report, the best cities to live in the United States are Austin, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Denver, Colorado. Let's highlight the positive and negative aspects of living in American territory.

Pros of living in the United States

  • Numerous tourist surveys and independent studies deservedly include the U.S. in the list of the most beautiful countries in the world. In addition to modern architecture in the cities, there are many national parks, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, beaches and other places of interest in the country.

  • The U.S. is one of the largest countries by population after China and India. It has leading ethnic structure. Cultural and linguistic diversity greatly simplifies the process of adaptation. In addition, English is the main language here.

  • The high standard of living, large economy and effective laws create optimal conditions for attracting foreign investment and successful business in the United States.

  • The U.S. has a low unemployment rate and a strong labor market, which allows many skilled foreigners to find jobs in American companies with decent wages.

  • Excellent infrastructure, extensive cultural and sporting events, varied cuisine and many places to spend your leisure time.

Pros and cons of living in the United States

Cons of living in the United States

  • High real estate prices, expensive health care and education.

  • Complicated legal system and laws.

  • High crime rate in many cities.

  • Labor law is very controversial, e.g. in terms of annual leave, which is not paid or absent at all.

  • Unsatisfactory public transportation system. You can not do without your own car in most cases.

Prices and the cost of living in the United States

The U.S. is the third most visited country in the world after France and Spain. Despite the tourist attraction to live permanently in major cities is very expensive. Renting a one-room apartment in the central part of the city costs about $1,705, and in remote areas about $1,375. The price of a square meter of real estate in the center is $4,495, while in the countryside it is $3,035.

Prices in the United States in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – $ 3.56

  • Milk (1 L) – $ 1.06

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – $ 3.73

  • Chicken fillet (1 kg) – $ 12.15

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – $ 2.73

  • American cheese (1 kg) – $ 12.82

  • Bananas (1 kg) – $ 1.68

  • Apples (1 kg) – $ 5.31

  • Petrol (1 liter) – $ 0.96

  • Cab (1 km) – $ 1.74

  • Public transport fare – $ 2.50

  • Monthly bus pass – $ 72

  • Utilities (85 sq.m.) – $205.37 per month

  • Cell phone service (month) – $ 51.28

  • Internet – $ 70.84 per month

The most expensive cities to live in the U.S. are in California – Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Much cheaper to live in Beckley (West Virginia), Morristown (Tennessee) and Danville (Illinois). Almost all major U.S. metropolitan areas have high cost of living, especially real estate prices. For example, renting an ordinary apartment (room) in one of the richest cities in the world – New York – costs about $2,295 per month.

Tax rates in the United States

Tax rates in the United States

Corporate income tax – 21%

Sales tax – 2.9% to 7.25% (each state has a different rate).

Income tax – 10 to 37%, depending on annual income. For a single person there is the following scale of taxation:

  • Annual income from $0 to $11,600 – 10%

  • Annual income from $11,600 to $47,150 – 12%

  • Annual income from $47,150 to $100,525 – 22%

  • Annual income from $100,525 to $191,950 – 24%

  • Annual income from $191,950 to $243,725 – 32%

  • Annual income from $243,725 to $609,350 – 35%

  • Annual income over $609,350 – 37%

Social Security – 6.2%

Medicare – 1.45%

Jobs and wages in the United States

The American job market is not only stable and diverse, but also highly competitive. To successfully find a job in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other cities you need to be in short supply, be well educated, and be sure to speak English. To be legally employed, you should find an employer in advance, sign a contract, and obtain a work visa to the United States.

The American legislation provides a large number of work visas for different categories of foreign applicants, including skilled professionals (H-1B) and seasonal workers (H-2B). The most popular occupations in the U.S. are in the service industries, medicine, energy, computer programming, finance, and agriculture. The most in demand are experienced software engineers, personal financial advisers and registered nurses.

The U.S. federal minimum wage in 2024 is $7.25 an hour, according to the official U.S. Department of Labor. Today, about 20 million Americans have incomes near the minimum wage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official average wage in the U.S. is $1,145 a week or $4,960 a month. Much depends on the state. For example, the average wage in New York City is about $5,000 a month.

Higher education in the United States

Higher education in the United States

The U.S. higher education system enjoys undisputed authority in the world. For example, in the QS World University Rankings® 2024 there are 4 U.S. universities in the top 10, including places 1 and 3. Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 has 7 universities in the top 10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Harvard University are considered to be the best universities in the United States.

One of the main disadvantages of the American education system is the prohibitively high cost of tuition. While state universities charge as little as $20,000 a year, private ones cost as much as $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Nevertheless, studying in the USA today are over 1 million foreign students, and one third of them come from China. The total number of universities in the country exceeds 6 thousand.

Medicine in the United States

Despite the high quality and numerous reforms, the American health care system is very complicated and medical services cost a pretty penny for the average American. This is considering that government spending in this area is the highest in the world. The main problems include obesity, infant mortality, and cardiovascular disease.

The average life expectancy at birth in the United States in 2024 is 80 years, with women living about 82 years and men 78. Overall, among developed countries, the U.S. health care system is the most expensive and least attractive, in terms of, access, efficiency and fairness. By the way, the average salary of doctors in the United States is $218,000 a year.

In conclusion, the best states to live in the United States are Iowa, Minnesota, and Utah. The least comfortable are Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

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