- Households in Fremont, California need to earn $104,499 to be middle class
- In Cleveland, Ohio, households only need $23,827 to be part of the middle class
- The West Coast had four of the ten wealthiest middle-class cities in the United States
There is a nearly $100,000 disparity between the household incomes required to be considered middle class in cities across the United States, new data shows.
Households in Cleveland, Ohio must earn at least $23,827 a year to be considered middle class, while across the country in tech towns like Fremont, Calif., the lower threshold to enter the middle class is $104,499.
The gap between the upper end of the middle-class household incomes in these cities was even greater – with a high of $71,124 in Cleveland and $311,936 in Fremont.
The data was compiled by SmartAsset using the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and combined it with measurements from the Per Research Center, according to Digg, and compared the upper and lower thresholds of the middle class in 100 cities, as well as in all fifty states. .
By state, Maryland emerged as the wealthiest middle-class state with a median household income of $180,406, followed closely by Washington DC, then New Hampshire. The least affluent states for the middle class were Mississippi with a median household income of $32,640, followed closely by Louisiana and West Virginia.
The West Coast topped the list of wealthiest cities for the middle class, with California cities taking four of the top 10 spots, Arizona cities taking three and Washington claiming one.
This data also indicated that it was hardest to become middle class in these cities – with six-figure incomes required while households in most cities across the country needed five-figure incomes as low as 30,000. $.
Fremont, Calif., was the wealthiest city for the middle class out of 100 people surveyed, with a starting household income of $104,499, a median income of $155,968 and a high of $311,936. San Jose, Calif., landed at number two with a low end of $84,673, a median of $126,377, and an high end of $252,754.
Arlington, Va., was in third place with an entry-middle-class household income of $84,186 per year, a median of $125,651, and an upper end of $251,302 per year. At number four, the lower end of San Francisco’s middle class was $81,623, its median $121,826, and its upper end $243,652.
In fourth place was Seattle with a lower end of $74,223, a median of $110,781, and an upper end of $221,562. Number five was Irvine, Calif., with the lower end of middle class incomes at $70,869, its medians at $105,774 and its upper end at $211,548.
Gilbert, Ariz., was number seven with an entry-middle-class household income of $70,217, a median of $104,802 and a high-end of $209,604. Also in Arizona, Scottsdale was eight years old with an entry income of $66,395, a median of $99,097 and an upper end of $198,194.
Ninth place was Plano, Texas, with a lower middle class threshold of $63,651 per year, a median of $95,002, and a high of $190,004. Chandler, Arizona was the tenth richest city for the middle class with an entry income of $63,391, a median of $94,613, and an upper end of $189,226.
Ohio topped the bottom ten cities for middle-class wealth, with Cleveland taking the top spot, Cincinatti landing at number four and Toledo at number six.
Detroit had the second-lowest middle class wealth with a low end of $24,214, a median of $36,140 and an upper end of $72,280. Buffalo had an entry income of $27,248, a median of $40,669, and an upper end of $81,338.
At the state level, the northeast dominated the rest of the country, with middle-class household incomes 20% higher than those in the south.
Maryland and New Hampshire took the top spots – with median incomes of $180,406 and $180,176, followed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Jersey with incomes of $176,930, $179,290 and $178,592 $.
California is next with a median middle-class income of $169,814, Washington at $168,494, Connecticut at $167,542, and Colorado at $164,508.
This follows other data from SmartAsset which revealed that a $100,000 paycheck goes the furthest in Memphis, Tennessee, while New York is the worst city in the United States to live from the sum.
In Memphis, the take-out value of the six-figure salary coupled with the local cost of living equates to about $86,000, while in New York City, it only equals about $35,000.
Seven of the ten cheapest cities — where $100,000 went the furthest — were in Texas, while six of the most expensive cities were in California and the West Coast.
The startling data took into account state and local taxes, the local cost of living and the effects of recent inflation, to determine which cities were the cheapest and most expensive to live in.
Americans facing rising inflation have become nostalgic for the prices of just two years ago – when the cost of basic groceries was almost half their price.
In the past, people may have cynically remembered the rising cost of everyday items over the decades, but now people are watching prices soar right before their eyes, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Avocados averaged $1 each at the start of 2021, but had risen to $2.50 a year later.
“There is an element of whiplash,” a 41-year-old marketing consultant told the newspaper. “Was that a bygone era of my youth, or was it just last year?
According to finance professors, however, psychology also plays a role. On average, people exaggerate the extent of inflation and remember that prices are lower than they really were.