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

Business_news

Kansas City, Missouri.

Tupungato/Shutterstock

  • For some middle-class families, every dollar counts — and it helps to live in a city where they’ll have the most leftover cash.
  • A new study by Simple. Thrifty. Living. determined the best cities for the middle-class in each state.
  • The study defines “middle class” as anyone who makes within the range of 50% to 150% of the country’s median household income.
  • South Burlington, Vermont, scored more points than any other city.
  • Visit business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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.

Business_news Huntsville, Alabama — total city score: 62.5


Rob Hainer/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.95

Home value score: 6.91

School score: 6.05

Job availability score: 6.29

Business_news Anchorage, Alaska — total city score: 63.80


Rocky Grimes/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 0.64

Home value score: 7.46

School score: 5.24

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Phoenix, Arizona — total city score: 72.96


Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 7.22

Home value score: 9.89

School score: 3.96

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news North Little Rock, Arkansas — total city score: 69.70


Jonathannsegal/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 9.08

Home value score: 9.30

School score: 2.90

Job availability score: 9.97

Business_news San Diego, California — total city score: 62.46


Lucky-photographer/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 7.07

Home value score: 6.75

School score: 4.26

Job availability score: 4.72

Business_news Denver, Colorado — total city score: 75.28


littlenySTOCK/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.89

Home value score: 7.75

School score: 6.19

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Wethersfield, Connecticut — total city score: 71.39


LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 4.14

Home value score: 8.54

School score: 6.82

Job availability score: 8.35

Business_news Lewes, Delaware — total city score: 62.53


Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 10.00

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 1.87

Business_news Tampa, Florida — total city score: 69.08


Shutterstock / Bonnie Fink

Real estate taxes score: 7.01

Home value score: 8.21

School score: 4.59

Job availability score: 8.61

Business_news Atlanta, Georgia — total city score: 62.75


photo.ua/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.87

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 6.22

Job availability score: 9.32

Business_news Waimalu, Hawaii — total city score: 72.86


Izabela23/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 4.38

Home value score: 3.66

School score: 9.98

Job availability score: 8.41

Business_news Boise City, Idaho — total city score: 72.19

Boise, Idaho.

Charles Knowles/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 3.62

Home value score: 7.13

School score: 6.17

Job availability score: 9.33

Business_news Chicago, Illinois — total city score: 62.43


Helen Sessions/Alamy

Real estate taxes score: 8.14

Home value score: 4.54

School score: 3.68

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Jeffersonville, Indiana — total city score: 64.91


Thomas Kelley/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 4.24

Home value score: 8.74

School score: 4.43

Job availability score: 8.25

Business_news Cedar Falls, Iowa — total city score: 61.59


University of Northern Iowa/Facebook

Real estate taxes score: 5.34

Home value score: 5.03

School score: 9.81

Job availability score: 1.08

Business_news Mission, Kansas — total city score: 76.39


APN Photography/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.02

Home value score: 8.47

School score: 8.15

Job availability score: 6.33

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


View_Point/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 4.68

Home value score: 5.78

School score: 5.24

Job availability score: 8.63

Business_news Jefferson, Louisiana — total city score: 73.63


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 5.64

Home value score: 7.95

School score: 6.74

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Portland, Maine — total city score: 65.00


Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 3.28

Home value score: 2.70

School score: 3.44

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Pikesville, Maryland — total city score: 71.57


tkarpati/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.39

Home value score: 9.08

School score: 8.79

Job availability score: 2.41

Business_news Cambridge, Massachusetts — total city score: 68.82


Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 10.00

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 5.47

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Wyoming, Michigan — total city score: 70.51


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 7.63

Home value score: 4.82

School score: 5.86

Job availability score: 10.00

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


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 3.31

Home value score: 6.59

School score: 6.52

Job availability score: 9.62

Business_news Pearl, Mississippi — total city score: 71.04


Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 8.27

Home value score: 9.05

School score: 7.27

Job availability score: 9.40

Business_news Kansas City, Missouri — total city score: 66.20


Tupungato/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.98

Home value score: 9.86

School score: 1.68

Job availability score: 8.42

Business_news Bozeman, Montana — total city score: 74.54


Shutterstock.com / Colton Stiffler

Real estate taxes score: 5.06

Home value score: 2.82

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 7.35

Business_news Omaha, Nebraska — total city score: 71.07


Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 1.88

Home value score: 9.89

School score: 4.20

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Las Vegas, Nevada — total city score: 68.04


randy andy/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 5.16

Home value score: 9.22

School score: 4.89

Job availability score: 9.32

Business_news Portsmouth, New Hampshire — total city score: 67.83


Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 9.13

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 7.66

Job availability score: 6.91

Business_news Fort Lee, New Jersey — total city score: 65.95


Brett LoGiurato/Business Insider

Real estate taxes score: 7.00

Home value score: 6.56

School score: 7.18

Job availability score: 1.69

Business_news Albuquerque, New Mexico — total city score: 62.51


turtix/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 0.00

Home value score: 8.63

School score: 3.30

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news New York, New York — total city score: 58.48


turtix/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 9.88

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 4.41

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Charlotte, North Carolina — total city score: 67.39


digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 4.02

Home value score: 8.10

School score: 4.98

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Fargo, North Dakota — total city score: 72.47


David Harmantas/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 1.57

Home value score: 9.59

School score: 6.71

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Norwood, Ohio — total city score: 68.24


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 7.58

Home value score: 7.99

School score: 5.43

Job availability score: 9.25

Business_news Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — total city score: 69.65


iStock

Real estate taxes score: 2.14

Home value score: 7.92

School score: 5.59

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Portland, Oregon — total city score: 67.19


Richard Clement/Reuters

Real estate taxes score: 7.14

Home value score: 4.14

School score: 3.68

Job availability score: 9.74

Business_news Hershey, Pennsylvania — total city score: 65.08


George Sheldon

Real estate taxes score: 7.73

Home value score: 3.08

School score: 9.11

Job availability score: 0.91

Business_news Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island — total city score: 65.17


MollieGPhoto/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 10.00

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 0.69

Business_news Wade Hampton, South Carolina — total city score: 68.94


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 4.80

Home value score: 7.39

School score: 5.69

Job availability score: 6.51

Business_news Sioux Falls, South Dakota — total city score: 76.19


Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 7.04

Home value score: 9.60

School score: 6.97

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Brentwood, Tennessee — total city score: 62.17


Flickr/Pilot MKN

Real estate taxes score: 8.81

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 5.44

Business_news Houston, Texas — total city score: 64.28


Shutterstock/Roschetzky Photography

Real estate taxes score: 5.12

Home value score: 9.99

School score: 2.85

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Salt Lake City, Utah — total city score: 66.30


Maciej Bledowski/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 4.39

Home value score: 8.25

School score: 5.22

Job availability score: 8.34

Business_news South Burlington, Vermont — total city score: 85.57


Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 7.04

Home value score: 5.59

School score: 10.00

Job availability score: 9.84

Business_news Forest, Virginia — total city score: 63.42


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 9.44

Home value score: 6.89

School score: 6.21

Job availability score: 0.15

Business_news Seattle, Washington — total city score: 62.63


Asif Islam/Shutterstock

Real estate taxes score: 8.21

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 3.28

Job availability score: 10.00

Business_news Westover, West Virginia — total city score: 81.60


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 7.25

Home value score: 9.81

School score: 7.93

Job availability score: 9.61

Business_news Shorewood, Wisconsin — total city score: 65.13


Google Maps

Real estate taxes score: 3.05

Home value score: 0.00

School score: 7.77

Job availability score: 9.75

Business_news Cheyenne, Wyoming — total city score: 73.84


Wikimedia Commons

Real estate taxes score: 2.54

Home value score: 8.10

School score: 7.75

Job availability score: 10.00

More:

Features
Middle Class
Travel
Best places to live

Chevron icon
It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.


Close icon
Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.



Check mark icon
A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction.