Middle class calculator: Which income class are you in?

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.

Depending on the data you use, the middle class could encompass all households making $47,188 to $156,600 a year. To figure out where you stand, try our middle class calculator.

As economic uncertainty rises, so does workers’ desire for stability. All too often, earners think they’ll find it in the middle class. Of course, “middle class” is a vague categorization of the way Americans live based on milestones such as homeownership, paying college debts and retiring at 65. However, as the average net worth changes, you might wonder what is considered middle class today.

According to Gallup data, 52 percent of Americans considered themselves middle or upper-middle class in 2022. However, only 46 percent rate their personal finances as good or excellent. With this in mind, it’s hard not to wonder what the middle class is and if you fall in it. To help you along, we’ll provide a middle class calculator, a definition of the middle class and an overview of how the average middle class income has changed. With all of this in mind, you’ll have the full context for your results.

Middle class calculator

The calculator below gives an estimate of middle class designation based on state and total household income. It will also compare your results to your current state and national averages. To learn more about the evolution of the middle class, skip to our infographic. Otherwise, you can enter your data below.

Please enter your income and state.

You in the middle class in .

Here’s how you stack up compared to your state and the national average:





United States






How the calculator works + methodology

Lexington Law Firm used Pew Research Center’s standard of calculating income class. Pew defines the middle class as having a household income of two-thirds to double the national average. We pulled the most recent Census Bureau data available on average household income for the state and national averages.

Note: Lexington Law Firm does not share any information entered into this calculator.

The evolution of the middle class and economic mobility

The middle class is slowly disappearing. As wealth disparity, inflation and wage gaps grow, the concept of a “99 percent” versus the “one percent” becomes more of a reality. For context, in 1971, 61 percent of Americans fell into the middle class. By 2021, this percentage had shrunk to just 50 percent.

The Pew Research Center has noted a few other trends within the middle class:

  • Middle-class household incomes have climbed less than upper-class incomes.
  • More than a third of Americans over 65 fall into lower-income households. As such, they had the largest drop-off from middle class status of any age group, despite baby boomer spending habits.
  • Multi-earner or married households reach and hold middle class status more easily than single adults.

Along with a shrinking middle class, downward economic mobility remains a concern. As technology and automation replace jobs, many workers will lose their employment. This job loss will bring laid-off workers to a lower-income class. According to the U.S. Government and Accountability Office, this automation could replace up to 47 percent of U.S. jobs.

Determining income class

There is no set standard for what’s considered upper, middle or lower class. Rakesh Kochhar, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center, breaks income into three brackets. While this approach ignores brackets like the lower middle class, it gains an edge from its simplicity. By taking 2018 data and accounting for inflation, the brackets come out to:

  • Lower class income: Amounts below $52,200
  • Middle class income: $52,200 to $156,600
  • Upper class income: Amounts above $156,600

The Pew Research Center uses another method to gauge middle class wealth brackets. For this approach, calculate whether income falls between two-thirds to double that of the national average. Recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the median income reached $70,784. Under this method, households with earnings ranging from $47,188 to $141,568 make up the middle class.

What factors influence your income class

While these methods are a great starting point, other factors play into class. We’ll explain a few common ones below:

  • Debt load: High debts and interest rates undercut incomes. A bad debt-to-income ratio can keep even high earners out of the middle class.
  • Personal health: Medical treatments and their costs quickly stack up. As a result, health issues affect class standing.
  • Family resources: For young earners, family resources can influence your financial trajectory. Living with parents or claiming an inheritance can reduce costs and offer crucial resources.
  • Education: College degrees open doors to advanced jobs and higher wealth brackets.
  • Location: The cost of living and average income can vary by location. A low income or high rent for your area can decide whether you’re middle class.

The relativity of class

Class analysis isn’t an objective science, it’s relative. Psychological factors—like how we perceive our situation—play a vital role. “The mind is the most powerful functioning organ in our system, and thinking you are poor will cause your whole system to act like it,” explains Ricardo Flores, a financial advisor at The Product Analyst. “Class is relative. You can move from this position in life if you feel like you should or you can.”

Additionally, class is aesthetic for many earners. The signifiers of the middle class, like homeownership and auto investments, come with invisible debts. While you might put your income into a mortgage, your neighbors only see a homeowner. Looking below the surface reveals factors outside income that shape our understanding of class.

Alternative viewpoints on class

With class relativity in mind, social and cultural capital form other ways to view class. This way of thinking frames class as it relates to how you view yourself and interact with others. It also allows room for cultural factors, including art, literature and music, to shape how our culture frames class.

Just as income, education, location, social connections and mindset impact our well-being, so does debt. Between 2019 and 2022, U.S. household debt increased by $2.75 trillion. As a result, the total amount of debt sits at $16.9 trillion. This debt isn’t only a cash flow problem, as debt can also contribute to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

No matter which class you fall into, proper credit management is vital to your physical and financial health. The infographic below dives deeper into the making of the middle class:

The infographic below dives deeper into the making of the middle class:

Protect your credit and financial standing with Lexington Law Firm

Knowing where you stand and how much you have to spend is the first step in financial planning. If you aren’t ready to discuss income with your family, our middle class calculator can help you determine whether you’re on the right track. Keeping your head above water in tough economic times isn’t easy. But by keeping tabs on your finances versus the national average, you can gauge where you stand.

With that in mind, you’ll need more than a middle class calculator to stay on top of finances. Maintaining great credit opens the door to loans and lines of credit you may need. To help you along, Lexington Law Firm offers an array of credit services. Over time, you can work to improve your credit and open the door to new financial opportunities.

Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.