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This map shows where in the U.S. a $15 minimum wage would be the most impactful

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New legislation introduced last month aims to increase the federal minimum wage to $15, which could lift the wages of nearly 32 million Americans.

Late last month, House Representatives Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), as well as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025. 

The federal minimum wage has not risen since 2009, although many states have increased state minimums. Most recently, Florida voted during the November elections to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026. There are still 21 states where the minimum wage remains frozen at $7.25.

By raising the minimum wage on a national level, about 21% of the U.S. workforce — or about 32 million people — would see a raise, according to recent research by the Economic Policy Institute

In the map below, EPI looks at each congressional district and shows the share of workers that would be affected by a $15 federal minimum wage. Unsurprisingly, the share of workers impacted by this legislation hits the highest levels (above 40%) in districts in states that have not increased their minimums beyond the federal requirement, including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. 

Some districts within states that have raised their minimum wages slightly, but still below $10 per hour, such as Nevada and New Mexico, also saw a significant share of impacted workers hit above 40%. 

In addition to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, the legislation would also gradually phase out the lower minimum wage requirements for tipped workers. The federal minimum for tipped minimum wage employees has remained steady at $2.13 since 1991.

Opponents of the $15 minimum wage argue that businesses will not be able to afford the higher base pay, which could lead to job losses. In fact, recent research finds that federal legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour nationwide would result in the loss of 2 million jobs. The food service, art, entertainment, and recreation and accommodation sectors would account for half of those projected job losses. 

Yet advocates argue the increase is needed because wages are simply not keeping up with day-to-day costs. By 2024, a single adult will need to earn at least $15 an hour, a gross income of roughly $31,200 per year, to achieve an adequate standard of living nationwide, according to a report from the National Employment Law Project. In some areas, such as New York and California, this is already the minimum required.

The table below shows exactly how the $15 minimum wage legislation would impact each congressional district.

Impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025

State District Number of workers affected Share of workers affected
California1NANA
California10NANA
California11NANA
California12NANA
California13NANA
California14NANA
California15NANA
California16NANA
California17NANA
California18NANA
California19NANA
California2NANA
California20NANA
California21NANA
California22NANA
California23NANA
California24NANA
California25NANA
California26NANA
California27NANA
California28NANA
California29NANA
California3NANA
California30NANA
California31NANA
California32NANA
California33NANA
California34NANA
California35NANA
California36NANA
California37NANA
California38NANA
California39NANA
California4NANA
California40NANA
California41NANA
California42NANA
California43NANA
California44NANA
California45NANA
California46NANA
California47NANA
California48NANA
California49NANA
California5NANA
California50NANA
California51NANA
California52NANA
California53NANA
California6NANA
California7NANA
California8NANA
California9NANA
Oregon3NANA
Texas3318100050%
Texas3414400047%
Mississippi212300046%
Nevada116100046%
Texas2917200046%
Texas1515400045%
Alabama711600043%
Florida2415400043%
South Carolina611900043%
New Mexico212400042%
Texas2814000042%
Georgia210500041%
Texas1614300041%
Texas3517400041%
Texas917000041%
Florida2014900040%
Florida2515700040%
Mississippi412300040%
West Virginia38000040%
Arizona714800039%
Arkansas410900039%
Kentucky58700039%
Louisiana213500039%
Louisiana510800039%
South Carolina711400039%
Tennessee912900039%
Texas2015900039%
Florida914700038%
Georgia1211100038%
Kansas112700038%
Louisiana411100038%
Michigan1310200038%
Mississippi112400038%
North Carolina112700038%
North Carolina311100038%
North Carolina712400038%
Oklahoma211100038%
Pennsylvania212100038%
Texas1814900038%
Texas1912800038%
Texas2313200038%
Wisconsin413100038%
Arkansas110200037%
Florida1015300037%
Florida179800037%
Florida511900037%
Georgia810600037%
Idaho213300037%
Kentucky110300037%
Mississippi311400037%
Texas111100037%
Texas30139000