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What is the federal minimum wage in the US?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal minimum wage became $7.25/hr. It is the lowest amount required to be paid to hourly workers all across the USA. Nonetheless, many states have their own minimum wage laws with relevant exceptions that apply under certain circumstances, e.g tipped employees, full-time students, etc. Click here to compare how the Canadian minimum wage legislation differs from the USA.

2021 minimum wage by state map

Below is the 2021 minimum wage by state map depicting the minimum wage hourly rates within each geographical region (data gathered from the US Department of Labor). Some states appear to have a considerably higher minimum wage compared to the federal minimum or other states. The map was color-coded based on states that have lower, medium, or higher minimum hourly rates. Click here if you want to view the low-to-high 2021 minimum wage table.

2021 minimum wage by state

The data regarding minimum wage laws reported yearly by the US Department of Labor, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Current Population Survey give us many insights and highlights of statistics describing the state and developments of labor laws. Conveniently, these data include many interesting facts which can give us a better understanding of external factors on the labor market, e.g. the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic taking effect in 2020.


The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25/hr since 2009 [2].

In 2020, The highest percentage of hourly workers earning the federal minimum wage and below are employed in hospitality [3]. For many of these workers, tips are the main source of earnings. Federal law and some state laws allow tipped employees to be paid less presuming tips bring up their pay to the required minimum [4].

Recent stats and interesting facts about the minimum wage


Minimum wage increase

In 2020, 21 states experienced a minimum wage increase. Seven states (AK, FL, MN, MT, OH, SD, VT) increased the wage due to the cost of living, and the remaining 14 states (AZ, AR, CA, CO, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NM, NY, WA) raised the rates based on formerly approved legislation [5].

Non-tipped workers

In 2021, 26 states expect a minimum wage increase for non-tipped workers with some increases adding more than $1000 to pay over a year. The states are the following: AK, AZ, AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, MT, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, RI, SD, VT, VA, WA [6].


In 2020, workers under the age of 25 represent one-fifth (⅕) of the hourly paid workforce and account for 48% of those who receive the federal minimum rate or less [3].

2019 vs 2020

In 2020, 1.5% of all hourly-paid workers received the federal minimum wage or below amounting to 1.1 million workers, which is less than reported in 2019 - 1.9% [3].


Among hourly-paid workers in 2020, 2% of women and 1% of men had the pay rate at or below the federal minimum [3].


Around 2% of hourly-paid workers who received the federal minimum wage or less in 2020 are college graduates, high school graduates, and those without a high school diploma. Workers with a bachelor’s degree and higher account for 1% in comparison [3].

Low to High 2021 Minimum Wage by State [1]

Low Minimum Wage
Medium Minimum Wage
High Minimum Wage
Alabama - $7.25
Delaware - $9.25
Rhode Island - $11.50
Idaho - $7.25
South Dakota - $9.45
Maryland - $11.75
Indiana - $7.25
Michigan - $9.65
Vermont - $11.75
Iowa - $7.25
Minnesota - $10.08 or $8.21*
Connecticut - $12.00
Kansas - $7.25
Hawaii - $10.10
New Jersey - $12.00
Kentucky - $7.25
Missouri - $10.30
Oregon - $12.00
Louisiana - $7.25
Alaska - $10.34
Arizona - $12.15
New Hampshire - $7.25
Arkansas - $11.00*
Colorado - $12.32
North Carolina - $7.25
Illinois - $11.00
New York - $12.50
North Dakota - $7.25
California - $13.00 or $14.00*
Pennsylvania - $7.25
Massachusetts - $13.50
South Carolina - $7.25
Washington - $13.69
Tennessee - $7.25
Texas - $7.25
Utah - $7.25
Virginia - $7.25
Wisconsin - $7.25
Wyoming - $7.25
Oklahoma - $7.25 or $2.00*
Georgia - $7.25 or $5.15*
Florida - $8.65
Montana - $8.75 or $4.00*
West Virginia - $8.75
Ohio - $8.80*
Nevada - $9.00 or $8.00*
Nebraska - $9.00

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