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These Are the Best and Worst States for Middle-Class Income Earners

To identify the best and worst states for middle-class families, GOBankingRates analyzed income, higher education and housing trends in each state. The study is based off of the Pew Research Center’s definition of “middle-income households” as those with an income that is two-thirds to double the U.S. median household income.  

For more details on methodology and to read the view the full study, visit: Best and Worst States for the Middle Class

Top 5 Best States for Middle-Class Families to Live

  1. Iowa
    1. Median household income:* $75,953
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $8,270
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $787
  2. South Dakota
    1. Median household income: $77,176
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $8,140
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $981
  3. West Virginia
    1. Median household income:* $70,838
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $7,490
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $718
  4. Nebraska
    1. Median household income:* $74,432
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $7,880
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $903
  5. North Dakota
    1. Median household income:* $75,801
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $7,880
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $817

Top 5 Worst States for Middle-Class Families to Live

  1. Hawaii
    1. Median household income:* $74,529
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $10,670
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $2,594
  2. Massachusetts
    1. Median household income:* $77,965
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $12,280
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $1,782
  3. California
    1. Median household income:* $73,197
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $9,350
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $2,155
  4. New York
    1. Median household income:* $73,227
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $7,710
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $1,503
  5. New Jersey
    1. Median household income:* $75,768
    2. In-state tuition and fees: $13,560
    3. Monthly mortgage payment: $1,319

*Median household income of middle-class families.

Additional Insights

  1. West Virginia saw the highest percent increase in the proportion of households earning middle-class incomes. Only three other states saw an increase in this proportion: Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
  2. Massachusetts has the highest college graduation rate in the country and an above-average median household income for the middle class. The state also has a middle class that is shrinking faster than any state on the list.
  3. South Dakota and Vermont were the only states on the list where the median household income of middle-class families increased between 1999 and 2014.

About GOBankingRates

GOBankingRates.com is a personal finance news and features website dedicated to helping visitors live a richer life. From tips on saving money to investing for retirement or finding a good interest rate, GOBankingRates helps turn financial goals into milestones and money dreams into realities. Its content is regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including MSN, MONEY, AOL Finance, CBS MoneyWatch, Business Insider and dozens of others. GOBankingRates specializes in connecting consumers with the financial institutions and products that best match their needs. Start your journey toward a rich mind and full wallet with us here.

Contact:

Natalie Richter, Media Relations
GOBankingRates.com
[email protected]
310-297-9233 x137

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SOURCE GOBankingRates

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