GOBankingRates

Best and Worst States for America’s Middle Class

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©Shutterstock.com

Although the middle class has remained pretty stable in size since 2011, the wealth gap between higher-income households and middle-income Americans has only widened over the years, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center report.

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You’re considered middle class if your family earns between $35,000 and $99,999 per year. GOBankingRates calculated that range based on the U.S. median household income of $65,712, per the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. To make greater financial gains, it’s important for America’s middle class to successfully manage daily living expenses while investing for the future. However, depending on where you live, rising costs can quickly eat up your paycheck — making it that much harder to save money and build wealth.

See: Cheapest Places To Buy a Home in Every State

To find the best and worst states for the middle class, GOBankingRates analyzed a variety of factors spanning the top concerns for middle-income Americans:

  • Income: The study determined the average change in the proportion of households earning the middle income, which indicates whether the middle class is growing or shrinking in each state. In 20 states, the middle class is expanding.
  • Education: This includes the high school graduation rate, in-state college tuition and the five-year change in tuition costs in every state. Surprisingly, a handful of states saw tuition costs decrease over time.
  • Housing: GOBankingRates compiled the median home list price, five-year change in home values, mortgage costs, homeownership rate and property tax rate for each state. There are still 15 states where you can buy an average home for less than $200,000.

If your family earns the middle income, it’s much easier to thrive if you live in a state that allows you to keep a bigger chunk of each paycheck. Unfortunately, many families live in states where the middle income falls short, putting goals like homeownership and student loan debt reduction out of reach — a reality for many middle-class Americans. Keep reading to learn more about the best and worst states for the middle class, ranked from worst to first.

    Last updated: July 8, 2021

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    50. Hawaii

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -14.18%
    • High school graduation rate: 85%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,978
    • Five-year change in tuition: 5.14%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 17.93%
    • Median home list price: $733,084
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $146,617
    • Property tax rate: 0.30%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $2,618
    • Homeownership rate: 60%

    Check Out: States Where It’s Easiest To Rise From the Middle Class

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    49. California

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -7.16%
    • High school graduation rate: 83%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,966
    • Five-year change in tuition: 0.91%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 31.93%
    • Median home list price: $596,946
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $119,389
    • Property tax rate: 0.74%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $2,351
    • Homeownership rate: 56.4%

    Take a Look: What Is Considered Middle-Class Income?

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    48. Massachusetts

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -8.76%
    • High school graduation rate: 88%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,641
    • Five-year change in tuition: 15.48%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 25.59%
    • Median home list price: $457,367
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $91,473
    • Property tax rate: 1.15%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,957
    • Homeownership rate: 63.5%

    Read: 16 Effective Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

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    47. Colorado

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -7.65%
    • High school graduation rate: 81%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $11,380
    • Five-year change in tuition: 13.84%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 39.47%
    • Median home list price: $428,573
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $85,715
    • Property tax rate: 0.56%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,623
    • Homeownership rate: 66%

    Learn: Budgeting 101: How To Create a Budget You Can Live With

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    46. Alaska

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -3.71%
    • High school graduation rate: 79%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,233
    • Five-year change in tuition: 24.54%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 2.10%
    • Median home list price: $310,346
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $62,069
    • Property tax rate: 1.02%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,295
    • Homeownership rate: 67%
    Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    45. Oregon

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -2.83%
    • High school graduation rate: 79%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $11,220
    • Five-year change in tuition: 16.61%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 39.91%
    • Median home list price: $377,165
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $75,433
    • Property tax rate: 0.98%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,561
    • Homeownership rate: 65.7%
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    44. New Jersey

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -7.39%
    • High school graduation rate: 91%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $14,536
    • Five-year change in tuition: 3.79%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 15.53%
    • Median home list price: $362,917
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $72,583
    • Property tax rate: 2.21%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,874
    • Homeownership rate: 64.3%
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    43. Connecticut

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -6.76%
    • High school graduation rate: 88%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,664
    • Five-year change in tuition: 19.19%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 10.56%
    • Median home list price: $285,380
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $57,076
    • Property tax rate: 1.70%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,352
    • Homeownership rate: 66.7%
    Atanas Bezov / Shutterstock.com

    42. New York

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -6.77%
    • High school graduation rate: 82%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,434
    • Five-year change in tuition: 7.37%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 22.04%
    • Median home list price: $281,025
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $56,205
    • Property tax rate: 1.40%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,261
    • Homeownership rate: 54.4%
    Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

    41. Vermont

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -4.49%
    • High school graduation rate: 85%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $17,474
    • Five-year change in tuition: 12.09%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 16.34%
    • Median home list price: $270,736
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $54,147
    • Property tax rate: 1.80%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,305
    • Homeownership rate: 76.8%
    Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    40. Rhode Island

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -0.79%
    • High school graduation rate: 84%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,060
    • Five-year change in tuition: 10.67%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 29.71%
    • Median home list price: $324,159
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $64,832
    • Property tax rate: 1.53%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,490
    • Homeownership rate: 64.3%
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    39. Maryland

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -10.27%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,115
    • Five-year change in tuition: 8.18%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 16.19%
    • Median home list price: $333,305
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $66,661
    • Property tax rate: 1.04%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,396
    • Homeownership rate: 74.7%
    DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    38. New Hampshire

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -5.26%
    • High school graduation rate: 89%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $16,916
    • Five-year change in tuition: 6.63%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 29.83%
    • Median home list price: $321,889
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $664,378
    • Property tax rate: 203%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,614
    • Homeownership rate: 74.7%
    DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    37. Virginia

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -5.46%
    • High school graduation rate: 88%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,627
    • Five-year change in tuition: 13.15%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 18.98%
    • Median home list price: $298,481
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $59,696
    • Property tax rate: 0.86%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,205
    • Homeownership rate: 72.9%
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    36. North Dakota

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -5.91%
    • High school graduation rate: 88%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,289
    • Five-year change in tuition: 14.8%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 5.7%
    • Median home list price: $241,279
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $48,256
    • Property tax rate: 0.95%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $992
    • Homeownership rate: 65.5%
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    35. Nevada

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -3.71%
    • High school graduation rate: 83%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $7,953
    • Five-year change in tuition: 14.92%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 45.47%
    • Median home list price: $327,941
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $65,588
    • Property tax rate: 0.66%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,270
    • Homeownership rate: 62.8%
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    34. Illinois

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -5.82%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $14,166
    • Five-year change in tuition: 2.85%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 17.71%
    • Median home list price: $210,912
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $42,038
    • Property tax rate: 2.05%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,057
    • Homeownership rate: 66.1%
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    33. Washington

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -9.11%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,077
    • Five-year change in tuition: -12.43%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 53.44%
    • Median home list price: $449,642
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $89,928
    • Property tax rate: 0.92%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,838
    • Homeownership rate: 66.7%

    Try It: This Income Calculator Shows If You’re Actually in the Middle Class

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    32. Louisiana

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.03%
    • High school graduation rate: 81%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,614
    • Five-year change in tuition: 21.89%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 11.60%
    • Median home list price: $171,897
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $34,379
    • Property tax rate: 0.52%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $645
    • Homeownership rate: 70.1%
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    31. New Mexico

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -0.38%
    • High school graduation rate: 74%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $7,432
    • Five-year change in tuition: 12.12%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 24.95%
    • Median home list price: $217,263
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $43,453
    • Property tax rate: 0.68%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $845
    • Homeownership rate: 73.8%
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    30. Pennsylvania

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -2.44%
    • High school graduation rate: 86%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $14,937
    • Five-year change in tuition: 5.60%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 23.80%
    • Median home list price: $205,792
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $41,158
    • Property tax rate: 1.51%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $942
    • Homeownership rate: 70.9%
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    29. Minnesota

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -4.90%
    • High school graduation rate: 83%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $11,834
    • Five-year change in tuition: 4.02%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 32.34%
    • Median home list price: $273,596
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $54,719
    • Property tax rate: 1.11%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,162
    • Homeownership rate: 76%
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    28. Arizona

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 2.83%
    • High school graduation rate: 79%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $11,921
    • Five-year change in tuition: 6.48%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 41.88%
    • Median home list price: $299,853
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $59,971
    • Property tax rate: 0.67%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,163
    • Homeownership rate: 71.7%
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    27. Utah

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -8.33%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $7,162
    • Five-year change in tuition: 7.95%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 50.05%
    • Median home list price: $379,018
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $75,804
    • Property tax rate: 0.62%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,455
    • Homeownership rate: 74.4%
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    26. Delaware

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -3.75%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,292
    • Five-year change in tuition: 7.37%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 17.63%
    • Median home list price: $271,520
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $54,304
    • Property tax rate: 0.58%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,033
    • Homeownership rate: 81.3%
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    25. South Dakota

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -3.27%
    • High school graduation rate: 84%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,977
    • Five-year change in tuition: 8.26%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 26.57%
    • Median home list price: $218,975
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $43,795
    • Property tax rate: 1.22%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $950
    • Homeownership rate: 72.3%
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    24. Kansas

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -0.04%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,196
    • Five-year change in tuition: 3.43%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 25.04%
    • Median home list price: $296,503
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $59,301
    • Property tax rate: 1.33%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,313
    • Homeownership rate: 72%
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    23. South Carolina

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 2.28%
    • High school graduation rate: 81%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,057
    • Five-year change in tuition: 5.88%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 28.52%
    • Median home list price: $199,238
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $39,848
    • Property tax rate: 0.56%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $755
    • Homeownership rate: 73.5%
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    22. Michigan

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.60%
    • High school graduation rate: 81%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $13,771
    • Five-year change in tuition: 10.25%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 40.07%
    • Median home list price: $179,660
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $35,932
    • Property tax rate: 1.44%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $812
    • Homeownership rate: 75.2%
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    21. Wyoming

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.20%
    • High school graduation rate: 82%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $5,581
    • Five-year change in tuition: 11.55%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 16.12%
    • Median home list price: $255,792
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $51,158
    • Property tax rate: 0.55%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $967
    • Homeownership rate: 77.4%
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    20. Texas

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.26%
    • High school graduation rate: 90%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,468
    • Five-year change in tuition: 10%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 30.50%
    • Median home list price: $216,353
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $43,271
    • Property tax rate: 1.69%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,023
    • Homeownership rate: 67.6%

    Learn: How Does Your Salary Measure Up To the Average American Income?

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    19. Oklahoma

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.86%
    • High school graduation rate: 82%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,919
    • Five-year change in tuition: 16.95%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 20.69%
    • Median home list price: $136,733
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $27,347
    • Property tax rate: 0.88%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $554
    • Homeownership rate: 74.1%
    Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    18. Ohio

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.67%
    • High school graduation rate: 82%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $11,330
    • Five-year change in tuition: 4.31%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 33.19%
    • Median home list price: $161,293
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $32,259
    • Property tax rate: 1.62%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $753
    • Homeownership rate: 70.1%
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    17. Idaho

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 3.35%
    • High school graduation rate: 81%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $7,999
    • Five-year change in tuition: 12.57%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 65.39%
    • Median home list price: $313,064
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $62,613
    • Property tax rate: 0.75%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,235
    • Homeownership rate: 72%
    Conchi Martinez / Shutterstock.com

    16. Georgia

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -0.72%
    • High school graduation rate: 82%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,719
    • Five-year change in tuition: 0.59%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 37.51%
    • Median home list price: $212,859
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $42,572
    • Property tax rate: 0.92%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $870
    • Homeownership rate: 68.7%
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    15. Montana

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 4.93%
    • High school graduation rate: 86%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $7,204
    • Five-year change in tuition: 6.33%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 27.67%
    • Median home list price: $295,408
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $59,082
    • Property tax rate: 0.76%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,168
    • Homeownership rate: 70.6%
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    14. Iowa

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -1.44%
    • High school graduation rate: 91%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,364
    • Five-year change in tuition: 10.69%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 19.67%
    • Median home list price: $158,328
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $31,666
    • Property tax rate: 1.50%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $724
    • Homeownership rate: 70.7%
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    13. Mississippi

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 2.62%
    • High school graduation rate: 84%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,596
    • Five-year change in tuition: 16.38%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 17.88%
    • Median home list price: $127,493
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $25,499
    • Property tax rate: 0.65%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $492
    • Homeownership rate: 74%
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    12. Maine

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 1.27%
    • High school graduation rate: 87%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,478
    • Five-year change in tuition: 1.95%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 32.75%
    • Median home list price: $258,347
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $51,669
    • Property tax rate: 1.27%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,131
    • Homeownership rate: 79.3%
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    11. Nebraska

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -0.37%
    • High school graduation rate: 89%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,745
    • Five-year change in tuition: 10.71%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 31.42%
    • Median home list price: $183,491
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $36,698
    • Property tax rate: 1.65%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $862
    • Homeownership rate: 71.9%
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    10. Wisconsin

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -2.16%
    • High school graduation rate: 90%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,104
    • Five-year change in tuition: -3.60%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 33.99%
    • Median home list price: $206,454
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $41,291
    • Property tax rate: 1.73%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $983
    • Homeownership rate: 69.8%
    Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

    9. North Carolina

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 1.77%
    • High school graduation rate: 86%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $7,281
    • Five-year change in tuition: 1.32%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 32.83%
    • Median home list price: $216,183
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $43,237
    • Property tax rate: 0.85%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $871
    • Homeownership rate: 72.6%

    Don’t Miss: 25 Cities Where the Middle Class Is Thriving

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    8. Arkansas

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 2.17%
    • High school graduation rate: 89%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,033
    • Five-year change in tuition: 10.46%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 22.42%
    • Median home list price: $135,710
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $27,142
    • Property tax rate: 0.64%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $523
    • Homeownership rate: 71.3%
    Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

    7. Indiana

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: -2.67%
    • High school graduation rate: 88%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,675
    • Five-year change in tuition: -0.55%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 33.74%
    • Median home list price: $164,847
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $32,969
    • Property tax rate: 0.87%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $667
    • Homeownership rate: 72.6%

     

    Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    6. Florida

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 3.59%
    • High school graduation rate: 86%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $6,352
    • Five-year change in tuition: -6.88%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 37.85%
    • Median home list price: $270,602
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $54,120
    • Property tax rate: 0.94%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $1,111
    • Homeownership rate: 70.1%
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    5. Alabama

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 1.48%
    • High school graduation rate: 90%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,918
    • Five-year change in tuition: 6.94%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 24.27%
    • Median home list price: $149,376
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $29,875
    • Property tax rate: 0.40%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $546
    • Homeownership rate: 76.9%
    f11photo / Shutterstock.com

    4. Kentucky

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 3.67%
    • High school graduation rate: 90%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,902
    • Five-year change in tuition: 9.94%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 28.88%
    • Median home list price: $153,568
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $30,714
    • Property tax rate: 0.82%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $615
    • Homeownership rate: 76%
    ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

    3. Tennessee

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 4.85%
    • High school graduation rate: 90%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $10,255
    • Five-year change in tuition: 6.69%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 38.94%
    • Median home list price: $194,904
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $38,981
    • Property tax rate: 0.73%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $766
    • Homeownership rate: 72.1%
    STLJB / Shutterstock.com

    2. Missouri

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 0.34%
    • High school graduation rate: 89%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $9,022
    • Five-year change in tuition: -0.20%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 30.47%
    • Median home list price: $171,387
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $34,277
    • Property tax rate: 1.01%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $713
    • Homeownership rate: 74.6%
    Davel5957 / Getty Images

    1. West Virginia

    • Five-year change in middle-income households: 3.97%
    • High school graduation rate: 90%
    • In-state tuition and fees for 2019-20 school year: $8,487
    • Five-year change in tuition: 17.86%
    • Five-year change in median home value: 14.37%
    • Median home list price: $107,569
    • Cost of 20% mortgage down payment: $21,514
    • Property tax rate: 0.55%
    • Monthly mortgage payment: $407
    • Homeownership rate: 78.2%
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      Grace Lin contributed to the reporting for this article.

      GOBankingRates determined the best and worst states to live on a middle class income by analyzing each state using the following data factors: (1) Average change in middle income in proportion of households over 5-years as sourced from the 2014 and 2019 American Community Surveys, (2) high school graduation rates as sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics, (3) 2019-20 in-state tuition and fees (in 2019 dollars) for a public 4 year college as sourced from College Board, (4) five year percentage change for in-state tuition and fees as sourced from College Board, (5) home value change from 2015-2020 as sourced from Zillow, (6) home value (09/2020) as sourced from Zillow, (7) the cost of a 20% down payment on a typical home, (8) monthly mortgage payment calculated with Zillow’s mortgage calculator and using the August 2020 home value, 20% down payment and applicable property taxes as sourced from Tax Foundation and a 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 2.88% as sourced from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Average in the United States , and (9) home ownership rate as sourced from the United States Census Bureau. All factors were scored and combined, with the lowest total score being best. All factors were weighted equally. GOBankingRates took middle income to be defined as $35,000 – $99,999, based of the 2019 ACS median household income of $65,712 and available data for income brackets. All data was collected on and up to date as of Oct. 5, 2020.