How Much You Need To Be ‘Middle Class’ on the West Coast of the US

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The five states that border the Pacific Ocean each have unique characteristics that appeal to the people who settle there. Despite their great differences, states have one thing in common. They sure aren't the cheapest in the United States.
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But how expensive is it to live on the west coast? The five states along the Pacific are among the 13 most expensive in the United States, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
GOBankingRates' goal is to find out how much money you need to be considered a "West Coast Middle Class" GOBankingRates then determined the income range of the West Coast middle class by taking average wage data from the US's 2020 Income and Poverty Report Census Bureau analyzed the payments were then calculated and included.
Read on to learn how much you need to learn to lead a civil life on the west coast.
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Median income (low end): $ 57,902
Median income (high-end): $ 154,406
Mortgage Needed For Average Home Ownership (Monthly): $ 1,478
Car Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 437
Student Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 207
Credit Card Payment (monthly minimum): $ 66
In Alaska, residents of some parts of the 49th state enjoy almost 24/7 sunshine from late May to late July. Ideal for nature lovers, Alaska offers some of the best hiking and fishing in the country during the summer and some of the best snow conditions for winter sports. Additionally, Alaska residents do not pay any state income tax or state sales tax.
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Median Income (Low End): $ 60,317
Median income (high-end): $ 160,846
Mortgage Needed For Average Home Ownership (Monthly): $ 3,744
Car Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 545
Student Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 221
Credit Card Payment (monthly minimum): $ 51
It's insanely expensive to live in California, but that doesn't keep people away from the Golden State. In fact, the 2020 US Census figures show California has approximately 39.5 million residents, which is 11.9% of the 331.5 million people living in the United States.
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Median income (low end): $ 62,801
Median income (high-end): $ 167,468
Mortgage Needed For Average Home Ownership (Monthly): $ 4,140
Car Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 442
Student Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 200
Credit Card Payment (monthly minimum): $ 56
Living in Hawaii is even more expensive than living in California. In fact, you bring home nearly $ 5,000 each month to make your monthly payments on your mortgage, car loan, student loan, and credit card.
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Median income (low end): $ 50,216
Median income (high-end): $ 133,910
Mortgage Needed For Average Home Ownership (Monthly): $ 2,248
Car Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 414
Student Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 215
Credit Card Payment (monthly minimum): $ 47
Oregon has a few perks that all adult residents enjoy. First, state law requires gas attendants to pump out your gas for you, and there is no state sales tax. The state also has an extensive collection of scenic bike paths that take cyclists through forests, on bike paths, or along the coast.
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Median Income (Low End): $ 59.06
Median income (high-end): $ 157,348
Mortgage Needed For Average Home Ownership (Monthly): $ 2,773
Car Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 482
Student Loan Payment (Monthly): $ 212
Credit Card Payment (monthly minimum): $ 52
Whether you're looking for access to jobs or the great outdoors, you will find it in Washington. The state is home to the corporate headquarters of a number of major corporations, including Amazon, Alaska Air Group, Costco, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Starbucks, and the Weyerhaeuser Co. On your days off, enjoy a drink in Washington's famous coffee and food scene or visit one of the parks like Mount Rainier National Park or Olympic National Park. Washington also has no state income tax.
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Methodology: For this study, GOBankingRates (1) used the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) definition of "middle class", which accounts for 75% to 200% of a median income. GOBankingRates then determined the income range of the middle class on the west coast by (2) analyzing the median wage data from the Census Bureau's 2020 Income and Poverty Report and multiplying the incomes by 0.75 for the lowest threshold and by 2 for the upper threshold. GOBankingRates calculated (3) average monthly mortgage payments by applying data from Zillow's Home Value Index to a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at an interest rate of 3.43% (excluding individual variables such as down payment, taxes, PMI and insurance). GOBankingRates also used data from (4) LendEDU, which analyzed aggregated anonymized data from 150,000 Truebill users to determine average student loan payments; (5) US News and World Report Car Ownership Breakdown by Geographic Region to determine monthly car payments; and (6) Experians Consumer Debt Study of Average Credit Card Debt multiplied by 1% (the minimum monthly payment required by most major credit cards) to determine monthly credit card payments. The data are correct as of November 5, 2021.
This article originally appeared on How Much You Need To Be 'Middle Class' on the US West Coast

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