How Much Does It Take to Be Part of the “Middle Class” on the West Coast of the United States

ByRichard C. Sloan

Nov 27, 2021
  • Middle income (low end): $ 59,006
  • Average income (high end): $ 157,348
  • Mortgage required for an average house (monthly): $ 2,773
  • Auto loan payment (monthly): $ 482
  • Student loan payment (monthly): $ 212
  • Payment by credit card (monthly minimum): $ 52

Whether you want to access jobs or the great outdoors, you’ll find it in Washington. The state is home to the headquarters of a number of major corporations, including Amazon, Alaska Air Group, Costco, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Starbucks, and the Weyerhaeuser Co. On your days off, drink in the famous coffee and tea scene. Washington food, or hit one of the parks, such as Mount Rainier National Park or Olympic National Park. There is also no income tax in Washington.

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Methodology: For this study, GOBankingRates applied (1) the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) definition of “middle class” as earning 75% to 200% of a median income. GOBankingRates then determined the middle class income range on the West Coast by (2) analyzing median wage data from the 2020 Census Bureau Income and Poverty Report and multiplying the income by 0.75 for the lower threshold and by 2 for the upper threshold. GOBankingRates found (3) average monthly mortgage payments by applying data from the Zillow Home Value Index to a 30-year fixed mortgage at an interest rate of 3.43% (excluding variables individual items such as down payment, taxes, PMI and insurance). GOBankingRates also used data from (4) LendEDU, which analyzed aggregate anonymized data from 150,000 Truebill users, to determine average student loan payments; (5) Geographic breakdown of car ownership by US News & World Report to determine monthly car payments; and (6) Investigating Experian’s consumer debt over average credit card debt multiplied by 1% (the minimum monthly payment required by most major credit cards) to determine monthly card payments credit. The data is correct as of November 5, 2021.


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