Find Out if YOUR State Has the Highest Paid Politicians

Which state pays their politicians the most? Is it YOUR state? Well, to answer those questions, a new map shows just how much state politicos make courtesy of you, the taxpayers.

The new study and interactive map was published this week by Zippia, a career site that studies economic statistics to help clients navigate their way through the American economy.

‘We took a look at the highest and lowest paid state politicians and the gap between them,” Zippia said in a press release. “Did you know that Governors in one state make 1,200 times more than State Reps? We’ve mapped it all out.”

In looking up just how much the taxpayers pay politicians in the various states, Zippia found that all the state governors get a flat salary, but only ten states pay their state representatives that way.

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The rest pay in “per diems” for each day of work and the rules for what constitute a “day of work” are wildly different from state to state.

For example, the governor in Pennsylvania makes nearly $190,000 per year, while the governor in Maine makes less than half of that — $70,000. The same crazy gap in pay applies to State Reps as well. In California, they’re paid $97,197 (pretty darn good for a state rep), while in New Hampshire, they are literally paid $100 per year. Yes, you read that correctly.

In any case Zippia took the time to try and distill their data to find out what each state pays their pols and the results are sometimes surprising, and other times expected.

For instance, the corrupt and bankrupt state of Illinois is in the top ten of the highest paid governors AND state reps. No surprise there, eh?

Here is what Zippia found:

Highest Politician Salaries
Pennsylvania pretty much takes the cake in both the state governor and state rep categories—with a salary of $187,818 and $85,338.65 (exactly), respectively.

Ohio makes the top five, mostly because of its impressively high governor salary of $148,886. The State Rep is not so lucky (but still, $60,584 is nothing to sneeze at.)

Okay, this is a case where the governor is paid way more than the State Rep. Which you’ll see again. And again. And again. Anyway, in Tennessee, the governor makes a whopping $181,980 per year, while the Rep makes under $40,000. Hm.

Good on you Michigan—you guys pay both your State Rep and governor pretty well; $159,300 and $71,685, respectively.

5.West Virginia
If you’re looking to go into politics in West Virginia, you might want to consider running for governor. They get paid $150,000, while State Reps make a mere $27,860.

Lowest Politician Salaries
1.New Hampshire
Here’s the thing: New Hampshire’s governors are not paid badly, at all. The thing that brings this state down (way down—like the lowest on this list), is the yearly salary for State Reps. $100. Per year. Yes, that’s real.

Okay, $100 per year is bad, but $14,100 per year for a State Rep is just as un-livable, in one of the most expensive states in the country. Guess what we’re saying here is, if you want to be Maine’s State Rep… don’t quit your day job!

Here’s a state that pays good salary to their governor– $99, 636. Their State Rep on the other hand? This guy (or gal) is set to make a cool $9,315 per year.

Speaking of GIANT pay disparities—in this state, governors make over $100K per year. State reps make… $7,770. Per year. Yeah.

5.New Mexico (tied)
Last but certainly not least (for real—New Hampshire was least), we have New Mexico. A state where governor’s work is valued about 15 times higher than that of a State Representative.

If your state isn’t in the list above, click on over to Zippia’s map to see where your state ranks on the politician pay scale list.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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