Here's what it takes to be considered middle class in 2024 for each state

File: View of suburban tract housing in Ann Arbor, Michigan on a sunny day in fall. (halbergman / Getty Images)

With the cost of living soaring significantly over the past couple of years nationwide, the majority of working Americans aren’t sure how far their paycheck can stretch to cover expenses these days. 

A new study from the personal finance site SmartAsset explores what it takes financially to be middle class in 2024 in all 50 states and 345 of the nation’s largest cities. The company used recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center.

What is the average middle class income?

In 2024, a large U.S. city’s middle-class income averages between $52,000 and $155,000, with the median household income across all 345 cities at $77,345, making middle-class income limits fall between $51,558 and $154,590, SmartAsset noted. 

However, the income levels required to be considered middle-class vary significantly depending on where you live. 

Map: Middle class income by state

On a state level, New Jersey ranked first, with households needing to earn $64,224 to be middle class, and making $192,692 would put you in the state’s upper class. 

With New Jersey ranking as the top state to make the most money to be considered middle class, other states ranking in the top five requiring salaries exceeding $50,000 to be in this category include Maryland ($63,321) and Massachusetts ($62,986), Hawaii ($61,633) and California ($61,028). 

While income thresholds to be middle-class are higher in some states, Mississippi had the lowest-earning middle class at the state level. Earning $35,142 and $105,438 would be considered middle class, followed by West Virginia ($36,216 to $108,658) and Louisiana ($36,940 to $110,832), rounding out the top three lowest-earning middle-class states. 

Map: Top 10 cities with highest & lowest middle class incomes

Several California cities topped the SmartAssest list where higher earnings are necessary to be in the middle class. In Sunnyvale, California, residents need to have a household salary of at least $113,176 to be "middle income." And if you want to join upper-class status in the city, a person would need a salary of roughly $339,562.

In other California cities like Fremont, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, a person needs a household salary of more than $101,000 to be considered middle class.

Full list: Middle class income by city

LINK: To see SmartAssest's complete list, click here

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.