Many people in the US believe that they are middle class. Their analysis is often based on the amount of money they make but it turns out that household size can also be a major determinant of classes. Well, we have actually crunched these numbers so that we can help you have a clear understanding of where you are in the class ladder. Our analysis has factored in the household size. It determines the amount of income needed to rank in a certain class based on the number of people in the family.
For a family size of one, you will need an average annual income of between $34,400 and $103,200 to rank in the middle class. Single adults with an average annual income of above $103,200 are considered upper income. A single person making $34,400 or lower a year, on the other hand, is categorized as low income.
For families of two, an annual income of less than $43,693 will place you in the low-income bracket. Couples without kids or single parents with one child will need to make between $43,693 and $131,078 each year to rank as middle income. As for the upper-income level, you will need at least $131,078.
Families of three, on the other hand, will need to make more to rank in the upper income brackets. For instance, you will be considered upper income with a family size of three if you’re making above $152,092 a year. Middle-income families will need between $50,697 and $152,092. An average income of less than $50,697 a year, on the other hand, will get families of three categorized as low income.
In case you have a family of four, achieving middle-income status will be harder. But an average income of between $60,499 and $181,496 a year will get you categorized comfortably as middle class. Families of four that make more than $181,496 a year are upper income while those that make less than $60,499 a year are categorized as low income.
This analysis shows that life is often easier for single working adults but it gets harder with kids in the picture. But there are also other factors to keep in mind such as where you live and how much debt you have. Think of it this way. A recently graduated single male making over $100,000 a year may be considered high income. But if he or she has a mountain of student loan debt and lives in a big city, everything changes.
The cost of living also varies a lot by state. A single adult making $90,000 a year in a place like West Virginia is likely to have a more stable financial life compared to a recent graduate in a big city making six figures. In addition to this, our analysis also shows that the gap between middle income and upper income grows bigger as people have more children. In essence, this means that it’s relatively harder for families with kids to break into the upper-income bracket compared to single adults or people with smaller families.