The best cities in each US state for middle-class families

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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.

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Huntsville, Alabama — total city score: 62.5

Huntsville, Alabama — total city score: 62.5

Real estate taxes score: 5.95

Home value score: 6.91

School score: 6.05

Job availability score: 6.29

Anchorage, Alaska — total city score: 63.80

Anchorage, Alaska — total city score: 63.80

Real estate taxes score: 0.64

Home value score: 7.46

School score: 5.24

Job availability score: 10.00

Phoenix, Arizona — total city score: 72.96

Phoenix, Arizona — total city score: 72.96

Real estate taxes score: 7.22

Home value score: 9.89

School score: 3.96

Job availability score: 10.00

North Little Rock, Arkansas — total city score: 69.70

North Little Rock, Arkansas — total city score: 69.70

Real estate taxes score: 9.08

Home value score: 9.30

School score: 2.90

Job availability score: 9.97

San Diego, California — total city score: 62.46

San Diego, California — total city score: 62.46

Real estate taxes score: 7.07

Home value score: 6.75

School score: 4.26

Job availability score: 4.72

Denver, Colorado — total city score: 75.28

Denver, Colorado — total city score: 75.28

Real estate taxes score: 5.89

Home value score: 7.75

School score: 6.19

Job availability score: 10.00

Wethersfield, Connecticut — total city score: 71.39

Wethersfield, Connecticut — total city score: 71.39

Real estate taxes score: 4.14

Home value score: 8.54

School score: 6.82

Job availability score: 8.35

Lewes, Delaware — total city score: 62.53

Lewes, Delaware — total city score: 62.53

Real estate taxes score: 10.00

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 1.87

Tampa, Florida — total city score: 69.08

Tampa, Florida — total city score: 69.08

Real estate taxes score: 7.01

Home value score: 8.21

School score: 4.59

Job availability score: 8.61

Atlanta, Georgia — total city score: 62.75

Atlanta, Georgia — total city score: 62.75

Real estate taxes score: 5.87

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 6.22

Job availability score: 9.32

Waimalu, Hawaii — total city score: 72.86

Waimalu, Hawaii — total city score: 72.86

Real estate taxes score: 4.38

Home value score: 3.66

School score: 9.98

Job availability score: 8.41

Boise City, Idaho — total city score: 72.19

Boise City, Idaho — total city score: 72.19

Real estate taxes score: 3.62

Home value score: 7.13

School score: 6.17

Job availability score: 9.33

Chicago, Illinois — total city score: 62.43

Chicago, Illinois — total city score: 62.43

Real estate taxes score: 8.14

Home value score: 4.54

School score: 3.68

Job availability score: 10.00

Jeffersonville, Indiana — total city score: 64.91

Jeffersonville, Indiana — total city score: 64.91

Real estate taxes score: 4.24

Home value score: 8.74

School score: 4.43

Job availability score: 8.25

Cedar Falls, Iowa — total city score: 61.59

Cedar Falls, Iowa — total city score: 61.59

Real estate taxes score: 5.34

Home value score: 5.03

School score: 9.81

Job availability score: 1.08

Mission, Kansas — total city score: 76.39

Mission, Kansas — total city score: 76.39

Real estate taxes score: 5.02

Home value score: 8.47

School score: 8.15

Job availability score: 6.33

Lexington-Fayette urban county, Kentucky — total city score: 69.45

Lexington-Fayette urban county, Kentucky — total city score: 69.45

Real estate taxes score: 4.68

Home value score: 5.78

School score: 5.24

Job availability score: 8.63

Jefferson, Louisiana — total city score: 73.63

Jefferson, Louisiana — total city score: 73.63

Real estate taxes score: 5.64

Home value score: 7.95

School score: 6.74

Job availability score: 10.00

Portland, Maine — total city score: 65.00

Portland, Maine — total city score: 65.00

Real estate taxes score: 3.28

Home value score: 2.70

School score: 3.44

Job availability score: 10.00

Pikesville, Maryland — total city score: 71.57

Pikesville, Maryland — total city score: 71.57

Real estate taxes score: 5.39

Home value score: 9.08

School score: 8.79

Job availability score: 2.41

Cambridge, Massachusetts — total city score: 68.82

Cambridge, Massachusetts — total city score: 68.82

Real estate taxes score: 10.00

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 5.47

Job availability score: 10.00

Wyoming, Michigan — total city score: 70.51

Wyoming, Michigan — total city score: 70.51

Real estate taxes score: 7.63

Home value score: 4.82

School score: 5.86

Job availability score: 10.00

St. Louis Park, Minnesota — total city score: 72.54

St. Louis Park, Minnesota — total city score: 72.54

Real estate taxes score: 3.31

Home value score: 6.59

School score: 6.52

Job availability score: 9.62

Pearl, Mississippi — total city score: 71.04

Pearl, Mississippi — total city score: 71.04

Real estate taxes score: 8.27

Home value score: 9.05

School score: 7.27

Job availability score: 9.40

Kansas City, Missouri — total city score: 66.20

Kansas City, Missouri — total city score: 66.20

Real estate taxes score: 5.98

Home value score: 9.86

School score: 1.68

Job availability score: 8.42

Bozeman, Montana — total city score: 74.54

Bozeman, Montana — total city score: 74.54

Real estate taxes score: 5.06

Home value score: 2.82

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 7.35

Omaha, Nebraska — total city score: 71.07

Omaha, Nebraska — total city score: 71.07

Real estate taxes score: 1.88

Home value score: 9.89

School score: 4.20

Job availability score: 10.00

Las Vegas, Nevada — total city score: 68.04

Las Vegas, Nevada — total city score: 68.04

Real estate taxes score: 5.16

Home value score: 9.22

School score: 4.89

Job availability score: 9.32

Portsmouth, New Hampshire — total city score: 67.83

Portsmouth, New Hampshire — total city score: 67.83

Real estate taxes score: 9.13

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 7.66

Job availability score: 6.91

Fort Lee, New Jersey — total city score: 65.95

Fort Lee, New Jersey — total city score: 65.95

Real estate taxes score: 7.00

Home value score: 6.56

School score: 7.18

Job availability score: 1.69

Albuquerque, New Mexico — total city score: 62.51

Albuquerque, New Mexico — total city score: 62.51

Real estate taxes score: 0.00

Home value score: 8.63

School score: 3.30

Job availability score: 10.00

New York, New York — total city score: 58.48

New York, New York — total city score: 58.48

Real estate taxes score: 9.88

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 4.41

Job availability score: 10.00

Charlotte, North Carolina — total city score: 67.39

Charlotte, North Carolina — total city score: 67.39

Real estate taxes score: 4.02

Home value score: 8.10

School score: 4.98

Job availability score: 10.00

Fargo, North Dakota — total city score: 72.47

Fargo, North Dakota — total city score: 72.47

Real estate taxes score: 1.57

Home value score: 9.59

School score: 6.71

Job availability score: 10.00

Norwood, Ohio — total city score: 68.24

Norwood, Ohio — total city score: 68.24

Real estate taxes score: 7.58

Home value score: 7.99

School score: 5.43

Job availability score: 9.25

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — total city score: 69.65

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — total city score: 69.65

Real estate taxes score: 2.14

Home value score: 7.92

School score: 5.59

Job availability score: 10.00

Portland, Oregon — total city score: 67.19

Portland, Oregon — total city score: 67.19

Real estate taxes score: 7.14

Home value score: 4.14

School score: 3.68

Job availability score: 9.74

Hershey, Pennsylvania — total city score: 65.08

Hershey, Pennsylvania — total city score: 65.08

Real estate taxes score: 7.73

Home value score: 3.08

School score: 9.11

Job availability score: 0.91

Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island — total city score: 65.17

Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island — total city score: 65.17

Real estate taxes score: 10.00

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 0.69

Wade Hampton, South Carolina — total city score: 68.94

Wade Hampton, South Carolina — total city score: 68.94

Real estate taxes score: 4.80

Home value score: 7.39

School score: 5.69

Job availability score: 6.51

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — total city score: 76.19

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — total city score: 76.19

Real estate taxes score: 7.04

Home value score: 9.60

School score: 6.97

Job availability score: 10.00

Brentwood, Tennessee — total city score: 62.17

Brentwood, Tennessee — total city score: 62.17

Real estate taxes score: 8.81

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 5.44

Houston, Texas — total city score: 64.28

Houston, Texas — total city score: 64.28

Real estate taxes score: 5.12

Home value score: 9.99

School score: 2.85

Job availability score: 10.00

Salt Lake City, Utah — total city score: 66.30

Salt Lake City, Utah — total city score: 66.30

Real estate taxes score: 4.39

Home value score: 8.25

School score: 5.22

Job availability score: 8.34

South Burlington, Vermont — total city score: 85.57

South Burlington, Vermont — total city score: 85.57

Real estate taxes score: 7.04

Home value score: 5.59

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 9.84

Forest, Virginia — total city score: 63.42

Forest, Virginia — total city score: 63.42

Real estate taxes score: 9.44

Home value score: 6.89

School score: 6.21

Job availability score: 0.15

Seattle, Washington — total city score: 62.63

Seattle, Washington — total city score: 62.63

Real estate taxes score: 8.21

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 3.28

Job availability score: 10.00

Westover, West Virginia — total city score: 81.60

Westover, West Virginia — total city score: 81.60

Real estate taxes score: 7.25

Home value score: 9.81

School score: 7.93

Job availability score: 9.61

Shorewood, Wisconsin — total city score: 65.13

Shorewood, Wisconsin — total city score: 65.13

Real estate taxes score: 3.05

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 7.77

Job availability score: 9.75

Cheyenne, Wyoming — total city score: 73.84

Cheyenne, Wyoming — total city score: 73.84

Real estate taxes score: 2.54

Home value score: 8.10

School score: 7.75

Job availability score: 10.00

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