10 best U.S. metro areas for the middle class
  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  2. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
  4. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
  5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  7. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
  8. Raleigh-Cary, NC
  9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  10. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Here are the 10 best U.S. metro areas for the middle class, according to a recent study by the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP):

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

This Bay Area metro tops the list with a True Rate of Unemployment of 42.5%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,515, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 78.5%. This means that middle-class earners in this area have a high income, low unemployment, and relatively affordable cost of living.

2. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin Round Rock

Austin-Round Rock, TX

Not far behind is Austin, with a True Rate of Unemployment of 42.8%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,126, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 60.8%. The combination of a strong job market, high wages, and a relatively affordable cost of living makes Austin a great place for middle-class families.

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Hayward

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Another Bay Area metro makes the list, with a True Rate of Unemployment of 47.4%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,370, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 70.6%. San Francisco offers middle-class earners high wages but comes with a higher cost of living.

4. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore Columbia Towson

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

This Baltimore metro boasts a True Rate of Unemployment of 39.7%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,222, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 51.1%. The combination of a relatively strong job market, good wages, and a lower cost of living makes Baltimore a good option for middle-class families.

5. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

The Washington D.C. metro has a True Rate of Unemployment of 36.2%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,415, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 64.2%. This metro offers high wages but comes with a higher cost of living.

6. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Bloomington

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

This Twin Cities metro boasts a True Rate of Unemployment of 34.5%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,181, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 42.4%. This metro offers middle-class families a good balance of job opportunities, wages, and cost of living.

7. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

The Portland metro has a True Rate of Unemployment of 38.2%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,219, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 59.8%. This metro offers middle-class families a good job market, wages, and a relatively affordable cost of living.

8. Raleigh-Cary, NC

Raleigh Cary

Raleigh-Cary, NC

This North Carolina metro has a True Rate of Unemployment of 34.1%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,094, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 48.3%. This metro offers a good balance of job opportunities, wages, and cost of living.

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

The Seattle metro has a True Rate of Unemployment of 45.4%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,506, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 71.8%. This metro offers high wages but comes with a higher cost of living.

10. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

The Denver metro has a True Rate of Unemployment of 39.6%, True Weekly Earnings of $1,180, and a True Living Cost Change Since 2005 of 54.9%. This metro offers middle-class families a good balance of job opportunities, wages, and cost of living.

Rock Properties Realtors® live, work and office in the Austin-Round Rock MSA, near Cedar Park, Georgetown, Hutto, Leander, Liberty Hill, Pflugerville and Taylor. If you are buying or selling real estate, including residential, commercial property or land, Rock Properties will provide you excellent service based on 20 years of real estate experience in and around Williamson County Texas. Call us at 512-850-4510.