Shocking News: The Middle Class Has It a Lot Harder Here Than Anywhere Else


The Center for an Urban Future published an interesting study about New York's middle class yesterday, defining the group as having annual incomes of between $38,905 and $58,937 (centered on the median city income of $48,631.12). Unfortunately, according to the study, that's not quite enough:

The “New York City premium” on goods and services from housing and groceries to utilities and transportation means that a $60,000 salary earned in Manhattan is the equivalent of making $26,092 in Atlanta; $31,124 in Miami; and $35,405 in Boston. In less-expensive Queens, that same $60,000 salary carries only as much purchasing power as $37,451 in Atlanta, $44,673 in Miami, or $50,819 in Boston.

In the above graphic, you can see what the equivalent of a $60,000 salary here is in a bunch of other U.S. cities.

But it's this graph from the study that really depresses us. It shows how many of the home prices on the market are actually within reach of people in that median income range.

Rough, right? Except that the chart may be a little mislabeled. "Is the American Dream out of reach?" Sure, we may not be able to afford buying homes here. But we grew up in rural areas, and our life goal wasn't necessarily to buy a home. It was to get the hell out of there and one day move to New York, where everything happened. We don't know about you all, but that was our American Dream.

Reviving the City of Aspiration [NYCFuture via NYDN]