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The 5 states with the highest and lowest paid politicians

U.S. Capitol building
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
U.S. Capitol building

If you think that politicians make a lot of money, you would be right — and also wrong. The amount that states pay governors, congressmen and senators varies greatly.

For instance, Zippia reports that the governor of Pennsylvania is paid approximately $187,818 a year, and the governor of Maine is paid $70,000. They found that the range is even more pronounced among state representatives. In California, state representatives make close to $100,000 a year while representatives from New Hampshire are paid just $100 a year.

Zippia analyzed data from 50 states in order to calculate how much each state paid politicians. The site considered three factors: cost of living, governor's wage and state representative wages. Since states pay their representatives differently, Zippia calculated their wages by adding their base pay and estimating per diem allowances that would be provided over the length of the average session. Zippia's data is from 2014, and does not include expenses.




Here are the five states that pay their politicians the most:

5. West Virginia

Governor salary: $150,000
State representative salary: $27,860.

4. Michigan

Governor salary: $159,300
State representative salary: $71,685

3. Tennessee

Governor salary: $181,980
State representative salary: $38,704

2. Ohio

Governor salary: $148,886
State representative salary: $60,584

1. Pennsylvania

Governor salary: $187,818
State representative salary: $85,339

Pennsylvania state capitol building
John Greim/LightRocket | Getty Images
Pennsylvania state capitol building

Here are the five states that pay their politicians the least:

5. New Mexico (tied)

Governor salary: $110,000
State representative salary: $7,425

5. Wyoming (tied)

Governor salary: $105,000
State representative salary: $7,770

3. Kansas

Governor salary: $99, 636
State representative salary: $9,315

2. Maine

Governor salary: $70,000
State representative salary: $14,100

1. New Hampshire

Governor salary: $121,896
State representative salary: $100

Pennsylvania topped Zippia's list with the highest paid politicians. Pennsylvania pays their governors more than any other state and pays their representatives more than every state except for California.

California actually has the highest paid representatives, but did not crack the top five because of the high cost of living in the golden state. Governors of California are paid the seventh most in the nation, behind states like Virginia, Illinois and Tennessee.

Zippia calculates that New Hampshire has the lowest paid politicians. In New Hampshire, Governors are paid $121,896 but representatives are paid just $200 for every two-year term and they do not receive per diem wages. That means over the course of a year, a congressperson from New Hampshire would earn just $100.

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