NPR logo How Much (Or Little) The Middle Class Makes, In 30 U.S. Cities

How Much (Or Little) The Middle Class Makes, In 30 U.S. Cities

"My family's household income is $250,000 a year, but I promise you I am middle class."

That's from a recent article in a college newspaper by a student who grew up in Silicon Valley. And it's the kind of thing you hear pretty often from people who live in expensive parts of the country.

That got us thinking: What do families in the middle of the income distribution actually make in cities around the United States?

About the data: We used the family income data from the 2013 American Community Survey. This counts only families, which the government defines as households with two or more people related by birth, marriage or adoption.

The graph focuses on families living in the country's 30 most populous cities. For the most part, it doesn't include those living in suburbs and rural areas. That's why the national median is higher than the median incomes in almost all of the cities on the graph.

One final note: In the area around San Jose (which includes the heart of Silicon Valley), 13 percent of families have annual incomes of $250,000 or more.

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