Are You Considered ‘Middle Class’ in NYC?

Posted On Tue, March 24, 2015 By

Posted On Tue, March 24, 2015 By In City Living, infographic

Image via 6sqft flickr

Following up on our recent post taking a look at how much you need to earn to be considered “rich” where you live, here’s a brand new study by Quoctrung Bui of NPR’s Planet Money which investigates what’s considered “middle class” in the United States. Although most Americans would humbly identify themselves as median earners, whether they’re raking in $30K or $300K, there are actually benchmarks for this segment of the population. But as you may have guessed, they vary greatly depending on where you live.

what is middle classGraph courtesy of NPR Planet Money

Bui looked at families (defined as two or more people related by blood or marriage) in the middle of the income distribution in 30 of America’s most populous cities, excluding rural and suburban areas.

As you can see, huge gaps reveal themselves depending on where you zoom in; for example in Detroit and Cleveland, the median family is making around $30,000, while in San Francisco and Seattle, the total is over $100,000. New York City by comparison has a median income of just $57,000 (but the number is likely pulled down by lower earnings in the outer boroughs).

Bui found that the national median is about $64,000, though as previously noted, this figure excludes suburban and rural areas, which is why the average is quite a bit higher than most of the cities on the list.

[Via NPR Planet Money]

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