The best cities in each US state for middle-class families
- For some middle-class families, every dollar counts - and it helps to live in a city where they'll have the most leftover cash.
- A new study by Simple. Thrifty. Living. determined the best cities for the middle-class in each state.
- The study defines "middle class" as anyone who makes within the range of 50% to 150% of the country's median household income.
- South Burlington, Vermont, scored more points than any other city.
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For many, being part of the middle class these days can mean they're making every dollar count.
Of course, it helps to live in a city where those dollars go furthest. That often means lower property taxes, good public schools, and secure jobs. A new study by financial services website Simple. Thrifty. Living. found the best city in each state for middle-class families.
According to the most recent data available from the US Census Bureau, the median American household income (in 2017 inflation-adjusted dollars) was around $57,600. The definition the study used for "middle class" is based on former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's definition, which is anyone who makes between 50% and 150% of that median.
The study looked at over 9,500 cities around the country for the following factors: income, real estate taxes, home value, unemployment, job availability, schools, and college education, with each of the seven metrics measured out of a possible 10 points. Those points were then weighted on a 0-100 scale for the total city score. The list below focuses on four key categories - real estate taxes, home value, schools, and job availability - that matter to families most.
The real estate taxes score was based on the taxes as a percentage of the home value: The lower the percentage, the higher the score. The home value score was based on the city's median home value as opposed to the state's. The school score is based on data from Homes.com, which looks at state test scores. The job availability score is based on job openings listed on Indeed within a 10-mile radius of the city.
The highest-scoring city in the country is South Burlington, Vermont, with 85.57 total points.
Here are the best cities for the middle-class, state by state.