The website Zippia did a really good job researching the amount of money you have to make to be middle class in each state. It's kind of crazy to look at the states with the highest middle class, I'll get into that in a minute, but it really does make you think, the wages are higher than what I figured they would be. I moved here from Kentucky and middle-class wages were about 10k less than they are here in the Cowboy State.

Here's how they figured it out.

First, we had to conceptualize what it means to be middle class. While potential for social mobility is an important component, we ultimately decided to focus on financial stability, or roughly how much it takes in each state to pay your bills and have some reserves leftover.

The biggest singular expense to most earners is housing. And, since the American Dream is built on homeownership, we opted to start with average mortgage cost. We started by finding out the average home value in each state from the US Census.

Home costs will vary within a state. Similarly, some buyers choose more or less expensive houses based on income and personal taste. However, since we are going for a top look, the average seemed like a good starting point.

From there, we applied a standard 30-year mortgage with a 3.9% interest rate to work out the monthly payment. We did not take into account PMI, taxes, down payment size, or home insurance, since those differ greatly within states and based on individual circumstances.

After that, we looked at two other large sources of debt weighing down earners- car payments and student loans. While not everyone has student loans or a car payment, just under half the population has either or both.

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So what does it look like around the Cowboy State? Colorado is as expensive as you'd think, with middle-class wages set at $81,602, Nebraska is lower at $46,906, Utah is $71,034 and Montana is $59,496. What about Wyoming? We're less than all of these neighbors but Nebraska, but not by much. Wyoming's middle-class wages are set at $54,849.

The cost of bills they considered in the data for Wyoming showed the average car payment of $311, Student Loan payment of $176, and a mortgage payment of $1,152. Take a look around the country for yourself.

Via Zippia
Via Zippia

What do you think? Is Wyoming expensive?

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