But what you may not realize is that the average Social Security benefit can vary pretty dramatically depending on the state you live in.
The average Social Security payout, ranked by state
According to data released by the SSA in April 2018, retired workers in the state with the lowest average retired worker benefit (determined by dividing the number of retired workers in a given state by the aggregate retirement benefits paid to that state by the SSA) bring home $241.91 a month less, on average, than retirees in the state with the highest average payout. That's about a $2,903 difference a year, and it's nothing to sneeze at given the program's noted importance.
With this in mind, let's take a look, from worst to first, at the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit by state. Afterward, I'll tackle some of the reasons why there's such a variance in these figures, and why they can sometimes be difficult to predict.