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This Is the City With the Richest Middle Class in Minnesota

imageForEntry25 Q0JThe American middle class has been hollowed out for decades. Factors such as the decline of major industries like manufacturing, alongside stagnating wages and the rising cost of living, have reduced the ranks of the American middle class since the 1970s and exacerbated income inequality.

Not only impacting millions of American families, the decline of the middle class, as the economic backbone of the United States, is also a cause for concern among policy makers. A strong middle class is considered a pillar of economic stability and a key driver of economic growth. Middle-class households provide the labor market with workers and are themselves a steady market for goods and services. Middle-class households are also an engine of entrepreneurship and innovation, and their tax dollars help sustain investment in quality public services.

Despite the challenges of the middle class nationwide, there are still cities in the United States where middle-class incomes remain relatively high. Due to both economic and demographic circumstances, the middle class in these places have bucked many of the longer-term trends that are all too evident in other parts of the country.

Of the five metro areas in Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington ranks as having the wealthiest middle class. The middle 20% of households by earnings in the area make between $69,840 and $106,711 annually, compared to the middle 20% of households across the state as a whole, who make between $66,612 and $105,995.

Unlike in decades past, where someone could get a well-paying job with just a high school diploma, today, the vast majority of high-paying positions require a college education. In Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, 44.7% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 38.9% of adults across all of Minnesota.

All data in this story is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. For each of the 384 U.S. metro areas with available data, we reviewed the income range of the middle 20% earners at the household level. In each state, the metro area with the highest floor for the middle quintile of earners ranks as having the wealthiest middle class.

State Metro area with the wealtiest middle class Lower income limit of middle class households in metro area ($) Upper income limit of middle class households in metro area ($) Lower income limit of middle class households in state ($) Upper income limit of middle class households in state ($) Total metro areas in state
Alabama Huntsville 59,275 95,386 51,964 81,812 12
Alaska Anchorage 69,309 104,406 56,320 89,984 2
Arizona Phoenix 60,980 92,683 69,215 113,568 7
Arkansas Fayetteville 58,347 85,134 51,469 81,356 6
California San Jose 107,949 176,806 63,308 101,711 26
Colorado Denver 72,213 111,148 71,175 111,220 7
Connecticut Bridgeport 75,514 127,824 46,623 73,356 4
Delaware Dover 52,778 79,512 56,948 94,304 1
Florida Naples 61,008 93,239 50,200 78,317 22
Georgia Atlanta 61,941 95,704 50,200 78,317 14
Hawaii Urban Honolulu 73,035 110,664 69,215 113,568 2
Idaho Boise City 60,209 88,755 66,612 105,995 6
Illinois Chicago 61,683 97,911 52,379 83,764 10
Indiana Columbus 60,201 88,113 51,980 80,331 12
Iowa Des Moines 60,185 91,157 65,032 96,596 8
Kansas Wichita 49,763 73,976 49,218 77,486 4
Kentucky Lexington 50,700 78,104 50,200 78,317 5
Louisiana Houma 45,606 75,633 48,732 77,231 9
Maine Portland 62,119 94,293 53,713 85,848 3
Maryland California 89,350 126,751 39,906 65,189 5
Massachusetts Boston 77,961 125,760 66,612 105,995 5
Michigan Ann Arbor 60,480 97,679 48,732 77,231 14
Minnesota Minneapolis 69,840 106,711 66,612 105,995 5
Mississippi Gulfport 42,951 69,812 52,295 82,996 3
Missouri Kansas City 59,319 90,657 49,218 77,486 8
Montana Billings 56,458 83,949 50,618 77,150 3
Nebraska Omaha 58,797 91,491 65,335 104,919 3
Nevada Reno 61,956 95,089 52,379 83,764 3
New Hampshire Manchester 73,687 108,394 50,618 77,150 1
New Jersey Trenton 68,864 108,749 56,295 88,426 4
New Mexico Santa Fe 53,897 84,031 69,921 112,054 4
New York Poughkeepsie 69,276 109,645 49,218 77,486 13
North Carolina Raleigh 67,045 104,142 44,235 69,505 15
North Dakota Bismarck 54,197 85,621 51,156 79,317 3
Ohio Columbus 57,296 89,383 50,618 77,150 11
Oklahoma Enid 50,742 72,058 51,964 81,812 4
Oregon Portland 67,202 102,601 66,612 105,995 8
Pennsylvania Lancaster 62,449 89,527 66,612 105,995 18
Rhode Island Providence 57,443 93,753 50,200 78,317 1
South Carolina Charleston 58,474 89,582 54,292 81,556 8
South Dakota Sioux Falls 62,200 89,212 52,379 83,764 2
Tennessee Nashville 58,925 90,095 66,612 105,995 10
Texas Austin 68,737 105,556 51,964 81,812 25
Utah Provo 71,963 104,267 69,215 113,568 5
Vermont Burlington 65,505 98,761 50,618 77,150 1
Virginia Charlottesville 63,159 97,426 54,429 84,652 9
Washington Seattle 80,316 124,685 62,433 95,630 11
West Virginia Morgantown 43,940 71,959 52,379 83,764 7
Wisconsin Appleton 61,672 90,064 54,429 84,652 12
Wyoming Casper 51,001 75,905 52,295 82,996 2
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