While the middle class, generally characterized as households that earn approximately two-thirds to two times the median national income, historically has been the largest economic group in the U.S. and currently remains so, its numbers have steadily declined year-over-year, a new report is discussing.
Still, some parts of the U.S. are better suited to this socio-economic group than others, and a new study out by SmartAsset takes a look at data on metrics related to income, jobs and homeownership to find the best states for the middle class.
Study highlights include:
- Utah and Idaho remain first and second, respectively. Utah remains the state with the highest percentage of middle-class households and has the second-most equitable income distribution. Idaho also ranks well for its more equitable income distribution, along with its high homeownership rate and uptick in median household income and middle-class jobs.
- Middle-class jobs are growing in most parts of the country. Nationally, the number of jobs with average earnings between $30,000 and $70,000 increased by 19.29% from 2017 to 2021. These jobs grew in 47 states, with Arizona seeing the largest increase (47.68%) over that time period.
- Four places, however, have seen a decrease in these jobs. They are the District of Columbia (-14.41%), North Dakota (-7.16%), Vermont (-1.58%) and Washington (-0.85%).
“Middle class people should try to budget their expenses the same way someone below the poverty line would,” said Shawn Laib, a personal finance expert with InsuranceProviders.com. “See how much you are going to need for entertainment, food, clothing, and savings each month. the 50/30/20 budget method and budget calculator to better understand your current spending and how you can maximize your savings.”
“So in practical terms, what can someone who does find themselves with reliable income, upward mobility, a car and the ability to start a family do?,” commented Gates Little, president of altLINE Sobanco. “If they don’t have a retirement plan that is focused on long term investing, they must meet with a financial advisor ASAP.”
To read the full report, click here.