Are you middle class?

Raw income doesn’t tell the whole story, though. The size of your household and where you live make a big difference in how far your money can go.

What’s considered middle class income where you live?

How many people live in your household?

Researchers use three main definitions for what makes a middle-class income: how close a household is to the median — or typical — income; whether they are in the middle 60 percent of incomes; and how far they are from the poverty level.

For a household of 1 in , your income is

Does that feel right to you?

The Post will anonymously store this response to show how your perception compares with other readers

Many people think of themselves as members of the middle class, even if their income is not. That feeling often comes down to how they stack up with their neighbors. “People define the middle class by comparing themselves to people around them,” says Rakesh Kochhar, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center.

How you compare to others in your area

Household Income by Zip code in your area

Income is just one way to think about being middle class. Some researchers focus on whether someone has a college degree or if they own their home. Others focus on wealth: how much money someone has, rather than how much they earn in a year.

However, every researcher we spoke with agreed that being middle class is about security.

Ability to save is mark of middle class

“Predictability is central to middle-class life,” said anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom, adding that people in the middle class generally have enough financial security to survive some financial setbacks and plan for retirement or their kids’ college education.

Most Americans would agree: 85 percent said the ability to save money was essential to being middle class, more than twice as many who said homeownership or a college degree were required.

Do you have emergency savings that can cover up to three months of expenses?

Close to 2 out of every 5 Americans think their savings are on track for retirement, but how prepared they feel varies widely across income.

If you’re not yet retired, do you think your retirement savings are on track?

Members of the middle class can plan for their future, but they might still be strained by big economic changes like high inflation. A recent poll found that rising prices in the past year caused hardship for 60 percent of Americans with incomes between $48,000 and $89,999.

Are you middle class?

Tell us more about yourself to find out.

About this story

Reporting by Alyssa Fowers, Shelly Tan, Luis Melgar and Kevin Schaul. Editing by Kate Rabinowitz.

Paper and bill textures in topper from iStock.

We used a variety of data sources on income. The national distribution of household income across the United States was calculated from the 2022 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Income for Zip codes and core-based statistical areas are based on the Current Population Survey using data collected between 2017 and 2021. The Census Bureau does not calculate median incomes for all rural areas, so we used the median of median incomes in a state’s rural Zip codes as a comparison point.

Our three definitions of the middle class come from the Pew Research Center (distance from median income), Brookings Institution (middle 60 percent of household incomes) and Urban Institute (distance from the 2021 poverty level). Rakesh Kochhar at the Pew Research Center, Richard Reeves at Brookings, Caitlin Zaloom at New York University and Rachel Sherman at the New School were consulted for this story. Stephen Rose at the Urban Institute, whose definition of the middle class is cited in this story, could not be reached for comment. Our story references Urban Institute’s definition of the “middle-middle” class, rather than the full range of lower-middle-, middle-middle- and upper-middle-class incomes.

Data about retirement savings and emergency savings were calculated from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking microdata. Inflation hardship information by detailed income group is courtesy of Gallup.

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