Email FacebookTwitterMenu burgerClose thin

Anja Solum

Anja Solum is a data journalist at SmartAsset covering a variety of personal finance topics, including retirement and debt management. Before joining SmartAsset, she worked on both agency and in-house content marketing teams where she developed her love for data analysis and visualization. In her free time, she nurtures a passion for gaming, a recent addiction to anime & KDramas, and a mischievous labrador retriever. A bit of a nomad, she’s lived in Norway, Jamaica, and Denmark in addition to the U.S. but now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Posts by Anja Solum

A man crosses a street in an empty city.
Data Studies

Best Cities to Ride Out a Recession – 2023 Study

While there is a lot of debate on whether the U.S. will enter a recession – or if it’s already in one – some models have projected a likelihood as high as 99.3%1. While no one can predict the future,… read more…

Data Studies

Best Zoom Towns in the U.S. – 2023 Study

The modern worker in 2023 has more options than ever before. Forty-one percent of workers are still fully remote or in a hybrid role1, which means people can opt to settle down in places that can offer a little reprieve from high living costs. This has given rise to a new moniker to describe the… read more…

Data Studies

$300K Is the ‘New $100K’ in NYC. Here’s How Taxes and Costs Affect U.S. Cities – 2023 Study

SmartAsset: Where People Are Buying Second Homes - 2023 Edition
Data Studies

Where People Are Buying Second Homes – 2023 Edition

There’s often more risk involved when purchasing a second home than with a first home. Potential buyers may depend on rental cashflows, be wary of potential natural disasters, and be concerned about maintaining the property from a distance. And in a particularly volatile… read more…

2023 SmartAsset Study: Places Where the Gender Wage Gap Is Closing
Data Studies

Where the Gender Wage Gap Is Closing – 2023 Study

When it comes to the gender wage gap, statistics paint a disappointing picture. Women made 83 cents for every dollar earned by a man in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, that figure hasn’t changed much… read more…

Data Studies

Best Places for Black Entrepreneurs – 2023 Edition

Black Americans are the third-largest racial or ethnic group in the U.S., making up just over 12% of the population. But less than 3% of all businesses are Black-owned. Some places outperform others, however, when it comes to the prevalence, success, and financial health of Black-owned companies and business owners. In celebration and recognition of… read more…

Data Studies

Cities Where Residents Have the Worst Commutes – 2023 Edition

While remote work has boomed in the last three years, the majority of working Americans still commute to work. According to the Census, a one-way commute took workers an average of 25.6 minutes in 2021. Using this estimate, workers in 2023 will average almost 222 hours (or a little over nine days) driving to and… read more…

SmartAsset: What It Takes to Be in the 1% By State – 2023 Edition
Data Studies

What It Takes to Be in the Top 1% by State – 2023 Edition

The gap between the top 1% of earners and average Americans is stark. In fact, the average American household earns a median income of under $70,000, but in some places, the top 1% can earn as much as $955,000. Those… read more…

Data Studies

Best States for Homeowners – 2022 Edition

The hot housing market has shown signs of cooling. Nationally, home prices have declined by 1.3% since their peak in June 2022. And some experts have predicted that housing could fall as much as 20%. Regionally, the majority of housing markets are expected to see price drops toward the end of this year. For prospective… read more…

SmartAsset 2022 Study: Where Americans Are Happiest
Data Studies

Where Americans Are Happiest – 2022 Study

Research shows that in some cases, money does lead to happiness. In fact, a 2021 University of Pennsylvania study found a correlation between happiness and income growth, even past an annual income of $80,000. This is in contrast to previous… read more…

Data Studies

Cities With the Largest Gen Z Workforce – 2022 Study

While the youngest Gen Zers are age 10 today, the oldest of the generation are reaching their mid-20s and are growing their careers. By 2025, Gen Zers are expected to account for a quarter of the workforce in the U.S. Additionally, a recent survey by McKinsey shows that Gen Z workers are more likely to… read more…

Data Studies

Most Affordable Travel Destinations This Holiday Season – 2022 Study

Travel is top of mind as Americans navigate into the new year. According to the U.S. Travel Association, nearly one-third of Americans will make taking a vacation one of their highest priorities. And so far, travel spending for September 2022 has hit its highest ceiling since the pandemic. With prices up across the board with… read more…

SmartAsset 2022 Edition: Top Boomtowns in America
Data Studies

Top Boomtowns in America – 2022 Edition

Economic uncertainty has been a top concern for most Americans over the past several months, and many experts predict that financial struggles will continue into the new year. However, despite the many challenges Americans have faced nationwide, there are some… read more…

SmartAsset: Where Rich Americans Give the Most to Charity - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

Where Rich Americans Give the Most to Charity – 2022 Edition

While Americans are still facing economic challenges, monetary generosity has also increased. Charitable giving grew by 9% in 2021 for both traditional donations and online giving, according to the non-profit research division at Blackbaud Institute. This is the largest increase… read more…

SmartAsset: Best Places to Work in Manufacturing - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

Best Places to Work in Manufacturing – 2022 Edition

Local manufacturing can provide high wage jobs, be essential for innovation, help reduce the national trade deficit and contribute to environmental sustainability, according to The Brookings Institute. However, it’s no secret that U.S. manufacturing jobs have been shrinking over the… read more…

SmartAsset: Biggest Airport Price Increases, Ranked - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

Airfare Rises More Than 20% Over the Quarter – November 2022 Study

Rising costs of jet fuel, delays, cancellations and inflation have created headaches for travelers this year. And, as a result, consumers are seeing much higher airfare prices across the country. With holiday travel around the corner, SmartAsset investigated the places where… read more…

SmartAsset: Most (and Least) Sustainable Cities - 2022 Study
Data Studies

Most Sustainable Cities – 2022 Study

A recent report on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demonstrates the importance of local measures when it comes to furthering sustainability efforts. Local sustainability means cleaner, more efficient and resilient communities. For residents, that translates into more opportunities for a… read more…

SmartAsset: Income Needed to Pay Rent in the Largest U.S. Cities - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

Income Needed to Pay Rent in the Largest U.S. Cities – 2022 Edition

Rising inflation and high interest rates have made affording basic necessities like housing challenging and it’s easy to spend more than what you are comfortable with. Nationally, renters can expect to pay upwards of $1,800 on average for a two-bedroom… read more…

SmartAsset: Best Places to Celebrate Halloween in 2022
Data Studies

Best Places to Celebrate Halloween – 2022 Edition

Though Halloween is the scariest holiday of the year, the impact of rising inflation may make it even more terrifying for Americans across the country. Filling the bowl with copious amounts of candy will cost over 30% more than years… read more…

SmartAsset: Where Women Are Most Successful - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

Where Women Are Most Successful – 2022 Edition

There are over two million women business owners, and that number is on the rise. In fact, data from the Census Bureau shows an increase of 17.63% between 2017 and 2021. Compared to 10 years ago, that’s more than a… read more…

SmartAsset: Where Housing Markets Are Cooling Off Most - 2022 Study
Data Studies

Where Housing Markets Are Cooling Off Most – 2022 Study

New home buyers are becoming more cautious. Rising mortgage rates and declining home sales have signaled the end of a hot housing market that has plagued buyers for over a year. According to the Census Bureau, home sales are down… read more…

SmartAsset: High-Paying Jobs That Are Expected to Grow Over the Next Decade - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

High-Paying Jobs That Are Expected to Grow Over the Next Decade – 2022 Edition

Many people looking for a new job are rethinking their priorities. In fact, from April 2020 to June 2021, the demand for flexible work arrangements grew at a faster pace than any other work priority, according to LinkedIn’s Talent Drivers… read more…

2022 SmartAsset Study: Where Millennials Are Struggling to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Data Studies

Where Millennials Are Struggling to Pay Off Credit Card Debt – 2022 Study

Across all generations, millennials spend the most time worrying about money (seven times a day, on average). Additionally, nearly three in four millennials have credit card debt and carry an average balance of $4,576. Tackling that debt can be challenging… read more…

Data Studies

Best Suburbs to Live In Near a Large City – 2022 Study

Large cities can be a great option for anyone looking for a walkable, fast-paced environment with easy access to shops and restaurants. However, the hustle and bustle of a large city isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition for everyone. Large cities are… read more…

SmartAsset: States With the Best Infrastructure - 2022 Edition
Data Studies

States With the Best Infrastructure – 2022 Edition

Millions of federal dollars are on the way to states as a result of two recent bipartisan infrastructure bills. This has the potential to impact the finances of everyday Americans. Some sources suggest that the average American loses roughly $3,300… read more…