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Revealed: How Much You Have to Earn to Be ‘Middle Class’ in Your State

Staying in the middle class takes a lot of work, according to a new analysis.

A look at the numbers from the website GOBankingRates.com found that it took a nearly 42 percent increase in income to remain in the middle class from 2012, the midpoint of the Obama administration, to 2022, the middle of the Biden administration.

The site published a state-by-state listing of what it takes to be in the middle class, defining the term as people with an income no less than two-thirds of the median income and no more than double that figure.

Although the national minimum to be in the middle class was $50,099 as of 2022, the numbers vary widely. For example, a Mississippi household earning $35,323 is considered middle class. In Maryland, however, the qualifying income is $65,641, according to the site’s calculations.

Over the decade-long period, Alaska had the smallest increase in income to stay in the middle class at almost 23 percent.

In Oregon, however, the bar to call oneself in the middle class rose by over 53 percent.

A report from Investopedia published in February said the middle class is shrinking, equating middle class with middle income.

That meant annual incomes of between $30,000 and $90,000 per year for single Americans, as well as $42,430 to $127,300 for a couple and $67,100 to $201,270 for a family of four.

As of 2021, the report said 50 percent of Americans were in the middle class, a drop from 1971 data that put the figure at 61 percent.

A study by SmartAsset found that in a large American city, a middle-class income can fall anywhere between $52,000 and $155,000.

That analysis listed New Jersey, with a minimum middle class income of at least $64,224, as the state with the highest income needed to be in the middle class, followed by Maryland at $63,321 and Massachusetts at $62,986.

At the other end comes Mississippi, where $35,142 is required to be in the middle class. Mississippi is followed by West Virginia at $36,216 and Louisiana at $36,940 as the states with the lowest incomes necessary to be middle class.

Some cities have sky-high upper limits for placement in the middle class. For example, in Sunnyvale, California, a household earning $339,562 is at the upper bound of middle class income, followed by Fremont, California; San Mateo, California; Santa Clara, California; Bellevue, Washington and Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

On the low end, there is Detroit, where a household making $24,299 would be middle class.

READ 4 COMMENTS
  • Zdsw says:

    I’m surprised it’s only risen 42%, I would expect it to have risen by 60%. You had 2 demorats running the country that have no clue how to manage anything related to money, they just know how to spend it, and then tax tax tax you. The sad thing, the seniors that get hit the hardest still vote for Biden and crew. Listen to Biden’s economic advisor on YouTube, what a joke, and you wonder why we are collapsing as a nation

  • Debra says:

    Gaslighting, trying to convince people minimum wages are middle class.

  • John sweet says:

    As they push for a minimum wage law in California, of $20.00 an hour, no one asks where will the increase be taken from, as jobs are cut replaced by mechanisms, the cost is added to the price of the service. The cost on the menu will increase, sizes shrink, quality ignored and you’ll stop going out as much or as often, closings follow!

  • Sherri Hostuttler says:

    this is totally BS!!!! if this is true, I am at the very bottom of middle class and still living paycheck to paycheck!!!

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