You need to make this much to be 'middle class' in Illinois

What does it take to be considered "middle class?" It depends on where you live, of course.

In Chicago, Illinois, for example, you'll obviously need to make much more than you would in Cleveland, Ohio. By comparison for those two cities alone, incomes ranging from $23,827 to $71,124 in Cleveland are equal to $44,606 to $133,152 in Chicago.

Researchers at consumer finance site SmartAsset analyzed the high and low-end of middle-class salaries in 100 large cities and every state using 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data, adopting what the Pew Research Center defines as "middle class" (Americans whose income ranges from two-thirds to two times the median household income.)


Chicago ranks 50th among large cities for middle-class income, with a median household income of $66,576.

In Illinois, the median household income is $72,205, and a middle-class income ranges from $48,377 to $144,410.

Among other Midwestern cities, Minneapolis ranked 41st, Indianapolis ranked 70th, St. Louis ranked 90th, Milwaukee ranked 93rd, and Detroit ranked 99th.

Nationwide, a national salary range for a three-person household was around $52,000 to $156,000. Mississippi has the lowest middle-class salary threshold, $32,640, followed by West Virginia ($34,336 and Louisiana ($34,898).


The nation’s median household income was $70,784 in 2021, according to census data.

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