Are you middle-class? This calculator will tell you

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The Pew Research Center has released an update to its online calculator that quickly informs you about the income category to which you belong: lower income, middle income, or upper income.

According to Pew, 52% of Americans lived in middle-class households as of 2018, which is defined as earning over $48,500. That dollar figure is adjusted, however, based on where you live and the size of your household.

For instance, a household in Jackson, Tenn., can earn $39,500 and still qualify as middle-class thanks to that city’s low cost of living. Conversely, a family in San Francisco, where prices are notoriously high, would need to take in $63,800 to be counted as middle-class.

If you want to find out your own income bracket, here is the calculator:


The calculator also includes a second segment enabling you to see the income distribution of those with a background similar to yours—taking into account the factors of age, race, education, and marital status.

The Pew data on which the calculation is based is from 2018, so it does not take into account the massive economic disruption caused by the pandemic. Pew, however, does cite a recent survey in which it found the economic fallout has disproportionally hurt lower-income Americans.

“The survey found that 36% of lower-income adults and 28% of middle-income adults said they had lost a job or taken a pay cut due to the coronavirus outbreak, compared with 22% of upper-income adults,” the think tank reports.

The new report also noted that nearly three in 10 Americans (29%) were in lower-income households, while 19% were in upper-income households.

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