What Is Today’s Middle-Class—and Where Do They Find Housing? | Topouzis & Associates, P.C.


January 15, 2019

What Is Today’s Middle-Class—and Where Do They Find Housing?

What Is Today’s Middle-Class—and Where Do They Find Housing?

An early-October report by the Brookings Institute examined 382 metropolitan areas in order to take stock of the size of the American middle-class, shining a light on where its members are most highly concentrated, and why.

To begin with, the report defines the middle-class as,

“occupying the middle three quintiles of the national income distribution (based on the 2017 American Community Survey), following a definition adopted by the Brookings Future of the Middle Class Initiative. By that definition, middle-class U.S. households had incomes between about $25,000 and $120,000 in 2017.”

It then takes into account the “regional price parities” defined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and average household size, to adjust the national thresholds shown above.

After taking stock of the data, the report determines that, as of 2017, these 382 metropolitan areas were home to approximately 85% of all Americans. The percentage of those qualifying as middle-class according to the above rubrics varied a great deal from market to market. The highest number of middle-class residents was found in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at 73.7%. (Our market area of Homosassa Springs, Florida came in at position number 2, with 70.8% middle-class, 17.9% low income, and 11.2% high income.) The lowest percentage of middle-class residents was found in Bloomington, Illinois, where only just over 51% of residents qualified as middle-class. (Our market area of Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts was not far off, falling in at position 377, with a middle-class rate of 52.5%, with low-income residents at 17% of the population and high-income residents coming in at 30.5%).

Of note is that the metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of middle-class residents are almost all small and mid-sized. 11 of the 15 metro areas with the highest middle-class percentage are found in the South and in the West. Areas with the lowest percentage of middle-class homes tend to be either college towns or tech capitals (or both). High-paying tech jobs make for a higher percentage of high-income residents; a highly-fluctuating low-income-rich student population makes for a greater proportion of low-income homes.

That said, the raw majority (59%) of individuals in the middle-class live in large, economically diverse metropolitan areas, though their percentage of the populations there are lower.

Whether you’re looking to join a middle-class metropolitan area like Homosassa Springs, Florida, a more economically diverse, larger metropolitan area like Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts, or any other city in either of these two states or Rhode Island, give us a call. Here at Topouzis & Associates, P.C., we’re experienced at title searches and title curative services, and we are supported in supplying title insurance by numerous underwriters. We’ll put our vast experience to work for you, ensuring clear sailing through the closing process and beyond.