The Income It Takes to be Middle Class in America’s Largest City

The Income It Takes to be Middle Class in America’s Largest City

May 16, 2023

This article was written with the assistance of A.I. technology, and has been edited and fact-checked by Melly Alazraki.

Income inequality has been on the rise in the United States for decades, and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in New York City. The income necessary to be considered middle class varies considerably from city to city.

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey, the middle 20% of households – by earnings – make between $64,626 and $107,889 a year. This means that 40% of New York’s households make less than $64,626 annually, and 40% make more than $107,889 annually.

The middle class is a key driver of economic growth, and a strong middle class is essential for a healthy economy. However, the share of income earned by the middle class in New York is just 13.6% – among the smallest shares for that segment of households of all U.S. metro areas. In contrast, the wealthiest 5% of households in the New York metro area earn 24.8% of the all income, one of the largest shares among U.S. metro areas.

With a high cost of living, many middle- and lower-income households in New York are likely struggling to get by. The income inequality in New York and nationwide is a complex issue with many factors contributing to it and several implications.

Click here to see how much income you need to be considered middle class in America’s 50 largest cities.

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