These Are the Best and Worst States for Middle-Class Income Earners
Only a few states allow middle-income families to thrive--see how your state compares to the rest of the U.S.
Although the middle class is shrinking, there are a handful of states where middle-income families continue to thrive.
But first, what is considered middle class? The Pew Research Center defines "middle-income households" as those with an income that is two-thirds to double the U.S. median household income. And two of the biggest concerns for middle-income families are securing a good education for their kids and being able to afford housing.
With that in mind, GOBankingRates determined the best and worst states to live on a middle-class income by analyzing the following data in each state:
- Income trends: This includes the change in median household incomes of middle-class families from 1999 to 2014 and the change in the proportion of households earning the middle-class income.
- Higher education trends: This includes the college graduation rate, as well as tuition and fees, and the five-year change in tuition.
- Housing trends: Lastly, this factor includes the median home list price, the estimated monthly mortgage payment and the homeownership rate.
Click through for the full methodology and to see if you live in one of the best places to raise a family on a middle-class income.
- Median household income of middle-class families: $74,529
- Median household income change of middle class: -3.6%
- In-state tuition and fees: $10,670
- College graduation rate: 45.9%
- Monthly mortgage payment: $2,594
- Homeownership rate: 53.7%
Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., so it's not too surprising it's the worst state for the middle class.
Hawaii ranks lowest on the list thanks to its extremely high cost of homeownership. The state had the highest median home price of any state at $600,000, as well as the highest mortgage down payment ($120,000) and monthly mortgage payment ($2,594). Because of the high real estate prices, Hawaii also had the second-lowest percentage of homeowners.
For more details on methodology and to read the view the full study, visit: Best and Worst States for the Middle Class
HNN: Hawaii's middle class being squeezed out, study says