You need to make this much money to be 'middle class' in Florida

How much money do you need to make to be considered "middle class" in Florida? Not only does it depend on which state you live in, but which city.

In San Francisco, California, or Seattle, Washington, for example, you need to make more money to be considered in the "middle class" than you do, say, in Orlando or Tampa, Florida. By comparison, incomes ranging from $81,623 to $243,652 in San Francisco are equal to $36,292 to $108,334 in Orlando (or $42,481 to $126,808) in Tampa, the study suggests. 

Researchers at consumer finance site SmartAsset analyzed the high and low-end of middle-class salaries in 100 large cities and every state using 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data, adopting what the Pew Research Center defines as "middle class" (Americans whose income ranges from two-thirds to two times the median household income.)


Fremont, California was ranked the wealthiest middle class of any large jurisdiction in America, according to the study. The median household income there is $155,968, and a middle-class income ranges from $104,499 to $311,936.

Next up: San Jose, California, Arlington, Virginia, San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington.

Among the cities with the lowest income limits to be considered in the middle class were Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey.

Here's where Florida cities fell on the list

  • #53: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • #54: Tampa, Florida
  • #67: Jacksonville, Florida
  • #82: Orlando, Florida
  • #91: Miami, Florida

Nationwide, the national salary range for a three-person household was around $52,000 to $156,000. The nation’s median household income was $70,784 in 2021, according to census data. 

As a state, Florida's middle-class income ranged from $42,252 to $126,124, with a median household income of $63,062. 

Here is how that compares to other states nearby:

  • Georgia: $44,595 - $133,118; medium household income, $66,559
  • Alabama: $36,122 - $107,826; median household income, $53,913
  • Mississippi: $32,640 - $97,432; median household income, $48,716
  • North Carolina: $41,521 - $123,944; median household income, $61,972

To see the full study, tap or click here.