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This Is How Much Middle-Class Families Earn in Every State

Cynthia Measom

What is considered middle class? It takes more money than you might think to reach this income tier. Pew Research Center defines middle-class or middle-income households as those with incomes that are two-thirds to double the 2016 U.S. median household income of $57,617. According to this formula, Pew determined that middle-class Americans have incomes ranging from approximately $45,200 to $135,600.

Using these criteria, GOBankingRates analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey to determine how much a two-, three- and four-person middle-class family earns in every state. Find out if you live in one of the best or worst states for the middle class.

Data is accurate as of June 27, 2019, and is subject to change. 

Alabama

2-person family middle-class income range: $35,929.42 to $107,252

3-person family middle-class income range: $40,451.92 to $120,752

4-person family middle-class income range: $49,182.69 to $146,814

Alabama has some of the lowest middle-income ranges on the list, ranking in the bottom 10 for the two-, three- and four-person family middle-class income ranges. Other Southern states that rank in the bottom 10 include Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi.

 

Alaska

2-person family middle-class income range: $56,614.33 to $168,998

3-person family middle-class income range: $57,885.32 to $172,792

4-person family middle-class income range: $68,222.75 to $203,650

You might be wondering, “How much does the middle class make in Alaska?” Here’s your answer: The Last Frontier ranks No. 1 on the list for two-person family middle-income range. In addition, the state ranks in the top 10 for both the three- and four-person family middle-income ranges.

Arizona

2-person family middle-class income range: $40,529.64 to $120,984

3-person family middle-class income range: $43,012.66 to $128,396

4-person family middle-class income range: $50,500.58 to $150,748

Arizona ranks neither highest nor lowest on the list for middle-income range. Not that much difference exists between the middle-income ranges for a two- or three-person family within the state. The four-person family middle-income range, however, takes a big leap.

Arkansas

2-person family middle-class income range: $34,045.38 to $101,628

3-person family middle-class income range: $37,786.66 to $112,796

4-person family middle-class income range: $43,702.76 to $130,456

Arkansas is one of the lowest-ranking states when considering what salary is middle class. It places No. 48 — or in the bottom three — across the board for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges.

California

2-person family middle-class income range: $47,807.85 to $142,710

3-person family middle-class income range: $51,639.58 to $154,148

4-person family middle-class income range: $59,189.81 to $176,686

California ranks No. 13 on the list for two-person family middle-income range, but it drops to No. 20 for both three- and four-person family middle-income ranges.

 

Colorado

2-person family middle-class income range: $49,595.41 to $148,046

3-person family middle-class income range: $54,674.01 to $163,206

4-person family middle-class income range: $64,014.48 to $191,088

Colorado ranks in the top 10 — No. 8 to be exact — for two-person family middle-income range. The state inches down the list, however, to No. 12 for three-person family middle-income range and to No. 14 for four-person family middle-income range.

Connecticut

2-person family middle-class income range: $54,226.45 to $161,870

3-person family middle-class income range: $64,114.98 to $191,388

4-person family middle-class income range: $77,674.44 to $231,864

Connecticut almost holds steady across the board for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges, but not quite. The state ranks No. 3 for two-person, No. 4 for three-person and No. 3 for four-person family middle-income ranges.

Delaware

2-person family middle-class income range: $44,992.51 to $134,306

3-person family middle-class income range: $53,631.49 to $160,094

4-person family middle-class income range: $63,592.38 to $189,828

Delaware ranks in the top 20 for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges. Three-person families rank the highest at No. 13, and two-person families rank the lowest at No. 17, whereas four-person families fall in the middle at No. 15.

Florida

2-person family middle-class income range: $37,972.92 to $113,352

3-person family middle-class income range: $41,530.62 to $123,972

4-person family middle-class income range: $49,360.24 to $147,344

Florida ranks in the bottom 10 for middle-class income ranges across the board: No. 41 for two-person families, No. 42 for three-person families and No. 41 for four-person families. Florida’s rankings overall, however, are higher than those of many other Southern states, such as Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas.

 

Georgia

2-person family middle-class income range: $39,065.69 to $116,614

3-person family middle-class income range: $43,606.28 to $130,168

4-person family middle-class income range: $51,058.02 to $152,412

Georgia ranks higher on the list than many of the other Southern states: No. 36 for both two-person and three-person family middle-class income ranges and No. 38 for four-person family middle-income range.

 

Hawaii

2-person family middle-class income range: $49,699.26 to $148,356

3-person family middle-class income range: $58,967.37 to $176,022

4-person family middle-class income range: $66,070.04 to $197,224

The Aloha State’s two-, three- and four-person middle-class income ranges all rank in the top 10. Its two-person family middle-income range ranks No. 7, three-person family range ranks No. 6 and four-person family range ranks No. 10.

Idaho

2-person family middle-class income range: $38,241.59 to $114,154

3-person family middle-class income range: $41,720.23 to $124,538

4-person family middle-class income range: $47,115.74 to $140,644

Idaho, located in the Pacific Northwest, just barely escapes the bottom 10 for two- and three-person middle-income ranges, ranking No. 39 in both categories. For four-person middle-income range, however, Idaho takes a dive into the bottom five — No. 47 to be exact.

Illinois

2-person family middle-class income range: $45,137.90 to $134,740

3-person family middle-class income range: $52,454.97 to $156,582

4-person family middle-class income range: $62,440.65 to $186,390

Two-, three- and four-person families in Illinois fall in the top 33 percent for middle-income ranges — No. 16, No. 17 and No. 16, respectively. Illinois also ranks much higher on the list than its neighboring states of Indiana and Missouri.

Indiana

2-person family middle-class income range: $39,184.95 to $116,970

3-person family middle-class income range: $45,338.23 to $135,338

4-person family middle-class income range: $53,330.66 to $159,196

Indiana ranks in the lower half of states for two-, three- and four-person middle-income ranges, ranking No. 35, No. 31 and No. 33, respectively. The difference between the median incomes for each family size is closer than some of the other states — only between $9,000 and $12,000.

Iowa

2-person family middle-class income range: $43,379.15 to $129,490

3-person family middle-class income range: $49,561.24 to $147,944

4-person family middle-class income range: $58,965.36 to $176,016

Iowa ranks in the top half of states for two-, three- and four-person family middle incomes at No. 21, No. 22 and No. 21, respectively.

Kansas

2-person family middle-class income range: $42,928.91 to $128,146

3-person family middle-class income range: $48,063.12 to $143,472

4-person family middle-class income range: $56,064.93 to $167,358

The middle-income ranges for two-, three- and four-person families rank No. 22, No. 22 and No. 27, respectively. According to U.S. Census Bureau data for 2013-17, the average number of persons per household in Kansas was 2.52.

Kentucky

2-person family middle-class income range: $34,839.33 to $103,998

3-person family middle-class income range: $41,035.49 to $122,494

4-person family middle-class income range: $50,071.78 to $149,468

Kentucky is one of the lowest-ranking states on the list for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges, ranking at No. 47, No. 43 and No. 40, respectively. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most affordable places to live, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

Louisiana

2-person family middle-class income range: $35,277.51 to $105,306

3-person family middle-class income range: $40,907.52 to $122,112

4-person family middle-class income range: $51,827.18 to $154,708

Louisiana ranks in the bottom 10 for both two- and three-person family middle-income ranges but ranks a little higher for a four-person family at No. 35. Like Kentucky, it’s also a more affordable state to buy a house in, according to a different GOBankingRates study.

 

 

Maine

2-person family middle-class income range: $40,313.90 to $120,340

3-person family middle-class income range: $48,328.44 to $144,264

4-person family middle-class income range: $57,146.98 to $170,588

Maine ranks No. 31, No. 26 and No. 24 for two-, three- and four-person middle-income ranges, respectively. Although Maine is a neighbor to New Hampshire, New Hampshire ranks much higher on the list for family middle-income range — in the top five across the board.

 

Maryland

2-person family middle-class income range: $55,934.28 to $166,968

3-person family middle-class income range: $65,206.41 to $194,646

4-person family middle-class income range: $77,352.17 to $230,902

Maryland is also a high-ranking state. It ranks much higher on the list than its neighbors, Delaware and Pennsylvania. For two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges, Maryland ranks No. 2, No. 2 and No. 4, respectively.

Massachusetts

2-person family middle-class income range: $52,135.38 to $155,628

3-person family middle-class income range: $64,847.96 to $193,576

4-person family middle-class income range: $80,228.48 to $239,488

Massachusetts ranks No. 5 for two-person family middle-income range and No. 3 for three-person family middle-income range. However, it tops the list at No. 1 for four-person family middle-income range.

 

Michigan

2-person family middle-class income range: $39,398.68 to $117,608

3-person family middle-class income range: $46,952.93 to $140,158

4-person family middle-class income range: $57,080.65 to $170,390

Michigan ranks right in the middle for four-person family middle-income range. Its lowest-ranking income is for two-person families at No. 34 and next lowest is for three-person families at No. 28.

Minnesota

2-person family middle-class income range: $48,400.80 to $144,480

3-person family middle-class income range: $58,084.31 to $173,386

4-person family middle-class income range: $69,698.09 to $208,054

Minnesota ranks higher than all of its neighboring states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin — coming in at No. 11, No. 7 and No. 6 for two-, three- and four-person families, respectively.

Mississippi

2-person family middle-class income range: $32,516.44 to $97,064

3-person family middle-class income range: $34,916.38 to $104,228

4-person family middle-class income range: $43,106.46 to 128,676

This Southern state is last on the list for both two- and three-person family middle-income ranges. It moves up one spot to No. 49 for four-person family middle income, beating out New Mexico.

Missouri

2-person family middle-class income range: $38,656.32 to $115,392

3-person family middle-class income range: $45,149.96 to $134,776

4-person family middle-class income range: $53,930.98 to $160,988

Missouri ranks No. 37, No. 33 and No. 32 for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges, respectively. In this state, you’ll need an annual salary of only $31,800 to afford the average home, per a separate GOBankingRates study.

 

Montana

2-person family middle-class income range: $40,257.62 to $120,172

3-person family middle-class income range: $44,912.78 to $134,068

4-person family middle-class income range: $54,218.41 to $161,846

Although Montana doesn’t have the highest-ranking two-, three- and four-person middle incomes on the list — No. 32, No. 34 and No. 31 — it does have one of the lowest property tax rates among states, according to a different GOBankingRates study.

Nebraska

2-person family middle-class income range: $43,919.84 to $131,104

3-person family middle-class income range: $49,134.45 to $146,670

4-person family middle-class income range: $57,672,26 to $172,156

When compared to its neighboring states, Nebraska ranks lower than Wyoming and North Dakota for middle-income ranges across the board but higher than South Dakota and Kansas. The state ranks No. 20, No. 24 and No. 23 for two-, three- and four-person families, respectively.

Nevada

2-person family middle-class income range: $40,967.15 to $122,290

3-person family middle-class income range: $43,722.86 to $130,516

4-person family middle-class income range: $51,165.22 to $152,732

Nevada doesn’t rank either highest or lowest for two-, three- and four-person family incomes — No. 29, No. 35 and No. 37, respectively. It does, however, rank as one of the most tax-friendly states.

New Hampshire

2-person family middle-class income range: $50,038.95 to $149,370

3-person family middle-class income range: $60,375.04 to $180,224

4-person family middle-class income range: $73,400.51 to $219,106

New Hampshire ranks No. 6  for two-person families and No. 5 for three- and four-person middle-class income ranges. Higher income in this state is a good thing: GOBankingRates found that it costs more in New Hampshire than in other states to afford the average home.

New Jersey

2-person family middle-class income range: $52,151.46 to $155,676

3-person family middle-class income range: $65,418.80 to $195,280

4-person family middle-class income range: $79,354.80 to $236,880

New Jersey is one of the top-ranking states for middle-class income ranges on this list. It snagged the No. 4 spot for two-person family middle-class income range, No. 1 for three-person families and No. 2 for four-person families.

New Mexico

2-person family middle-class income range: $37,747.80 to $112,680

3-person family middle-class income range: $36,577.31 to $109,186

4-person family middle-class income range: $42,926.90 to $128,140

New Mexico is one of the lowest-ranking states on the list for family middle-income ranges. The state ranks No. 42 for two-person families, No. 49 for three-person families and last for four-person families.

 

New York

2-person family middle-class income range: $44,750.64 to $133,584

3-person family middle-class income range: $52,673.39 to $157,234

4-person family middle-class income range: $64,279.80 to $191,880

Even though New York isn’t that far down each list — No. 18, No. 15 and No. 13 — the middle-class income won’t go as far as it does in other states. This is especially true for people who are shopping for a home. The average salary needed to buy a home in the state is $63,360, according to a different GOBankingRates study.

North Carolina

2-person family middle-class income range: $38,171.91 to $113,946

3-person family middle-class income range: $42,819.70 to $127,820

4-person family middle-class income range: $51,404.41 to $153,446

North Carolina’s two-, three- and four-person family middle-class incomes rank No. 40, No. 38 and No. 36, respectively. Out of the states adjacent to North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee rank lower on the list across the board, whereas Virginia ranks higher.

North Dakota

2-person family middle-class income range: $48,216.55 to $143,930

3-person family middle-class income range: $54,720.91 to $163,346

4-person family middle-class income range: $65,166.88 to $194,528

North Dakota’s two-, three- and four-person middle-class income ranges almost all rank in the top 10 but not quite: No. 12, No. 11 and No. 12, respectively. In all cases, however, North Dakota ranks much higher than South Dakota.

Ohio

2-person family middle-class income range: $39,546.08 to $118,048

3-person family middle-class income range: $46,263.50 to $138,100

4-person family middle-class income range: $56,510.48 to $168,688

Ohio has the same ranking — No. 33 — for both two- and three-person family middle-income ranges. The four-person family middle-income range, however, ranks a bit higher at No. 26.

Oklahoma

2-person family middle-class income range: $38,451.97 to $114,782

3-person family middle-class income range: $41,610.35 to $124,210

4-person family middle-class income range: $47,289.27 to $141,162

Oklahoma’s two-, three- and four-person middle-income ranges rank lower on the list at No. 38, No. 40 and No. 46, respectively. Neighboring states New Mexico and Louisiana rank even lower, but Texas ranks higher.

Oregon

2-person family middle-class income range: $42,276.33 to $126,198

3-person family middle-class income range: $48,510.01 to $144,806

4-person family middle-class income range: $55,796.26 to $166,556

Oregon ranks at about the middle of the pack for both two- and three-person family middle-income ranges. The four-person family middle-income range, however, drops to No. 28.

Pennsylvania

2-person family middle-class income range: $41,698.79 to $124,474

3-person family middle-class income range: $52,044.93 to $155,358

4-person family middle-class income range: $61,959.59 to $184,954

Many of the states on this list have pretty close rankings between the middle-income ranges for two- and three-person families, but Pennsylvania — ranking No. 28 and No. 19 in those categories, respectively — does not.

Rhode Island

2-person family middle-class income range: $46,556.29 to $138,974

3-person family middle-class income range: $53,163.16 to $158,696

4-person family middle-class income range: $66,926.97 to $199,782

Rhode Island ranks in the top 20 for both two- and three-person family middle-income ranges and in the top 10 for four-person families. On the downside, a separate GOBankingRates study found that Rhode Island is one of the worst states to live in if you want to retire rich.

 

 

South Carolina

2-person family middle-class income range: $37,533.40 to $112,040

3-person family middle-class income range: $40,793.62 to $121,772

4-person family middle-class income range: $49,178 to $146,800

South Carolina has a pretty tight grouping between two-, three- and four-person middle-income ranges: No. 43, No. 45 and No. 43, respectively. But when compared to its sister state, North Carolina, it ranks lower on the list across the board.

South Dakota

2-person family middle-class income range: $42,483.36 to $126,816

3-person family middle-class income range: $46,737.19 to $139,514

4-person family middle-class income range: $55,705.14 to $166,284

The two-person family middle-income range in South Dakota ranks at No. 25, while the three- and four-person family middle-income ranges are tied at No. 29.

 

Tennessee

2-person family middle-class income range: $36,568.60 to $109,160

3-person family middle-class income range: $41,578.19 to $124,114

4-person family middle-class income range: $49,053.38 to $146,428

Tennessee ranks pretty far down the list, especially when compared to some of the other Southern states. For two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges, the state ranks No. 44, No. 41 and No. 44, respectively.

Texas

2-person family middle-class income range: $41,824.75 to $124,850

3-person family middle-class income range: $45,310.76 to $135,256

4-person family middle-class income range: $52,511.25 to $156,750

Texas ranks higher on the list for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges — No. 27, No. 32 and No. 34, respectively — than many of the other Southern states on the list, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Utah

2-person family middle-class income range: $42,789.55 to $127,730

3-person family middle-class income range: $49,249.02 to $147,012

4-person family middle-class income range: $54,363.13 to $162,278

Utah ranks at about the middle for two- and three-person family income ranges but falls to No. 30 for four-person family middle-income range. Even so, according to another GOBankingRates study, it’s the No. 1 state families are flocking to.

Vermont

2-person family middle-class income range: $44,382.14 to $132,484

3-person family middle-class income range: $52,528.67 to $156,802

4-person family middle-class income range: $60,815.90 to $181,540

Vermont ranks in the top 20 for two-, three- and four-person middle-income ranges — No. 19, No. 16 and No. 19, respectively. But your dollars might not stretch that far. According to another GOBankingRates study, Vermont is the worst state to retire rich.

Virginia

2-person family middle-class income range: $49,143.16 to $146,696

3-person family middle-class income range: $56,576.81 to $168,886

4-person family middle-class income range: $67,319.59 to $200,954

Virginia ranks in the top 10 for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges. Both its two- and three-person family middle-income ranges rank No. 9, whereas its four-person family middle-income range ranks one spot higher at No. 8. The high rankings might correlate to Virginia’s strong economy — the state ranked No. 2 among states with the best economy in another GOBankingRates study.

Washington

2-person family middle-class income range: $49,102.96 to $146,576

3-person family middle-class income range: $55,775.49 to $166,494

4-person family middle-class income range: $64,860.69 to $193,614

You might think a state like Washington, with its high cost of living, would rank in the top 10 across the board, and it almost did. Both its two- and three-person family middle-class income ranges rank No. 10, whereas the four-person family middle income ranks slightly lower at No. 12.

West Virginia

2-person family middle-class income range: $33,471.19 to $99,914

3-person family middle-class income range: $39,795.99 to $118,794

4-person family middle-class income range: $48,545.42 to $144,912

Unlike Virginia, West Virginia ranks on the low end for two-, three- and four-person middle-income ranges — No. 49, No. 47 and No. 46, respectively.

Wisconsin

2-person family middle-class income range: $42,803.62 to $127,772

3-person family middle-class income range: $50,899.23 to $151,938

4-person family middle-class income range: $61,574.34 to $183,804

Wisconsin ranks in the top half of states for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges: No. 23, No. 21 and No. 18, respectively. To own a home in the state, you’ll need an average salary of around $36,000, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

 

Wyoming

2-person family middle-class income range: $46,590.46 to $139,076

3-person family middle-class income range: $52,186.30 to $155,780

4-person family middle-class income range: $58,156 to $173,600

Wyoming also ranks in the top half of states for two-, three- and four-person family middle-income ranges: No. 14, No. 18 and No. 22, respectively. Wyoming also has an uncommon perk — it’s one of the states with no income tax.

Click through to see exactly how much you need to have saved for retirement in every state.

More on Making Money and the Economy 

 

Methodology: GOBankingRates found how much the middle class earns in every state by analyzing the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey data to determine how much a two-, three- and four-person middle-class family earns. Pew Research Center defines middle class as making two-thirds (67 percent) to double (200 percent) the national median income. For this study, GOBankingRates assumed that a middle-class family earns two-thirds of the national median income. In order to find out how much a middle-class family is earning, GOBankingRates multiplied each median income by 0.67 for the lower endpoint and by 2 for the upper endpoint.

Data is accurate as of June 27, 2019, and is subject to change. 

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: This Is How Much Middle-Class Families Earn in Every State