What is ‘middle class' for North Bay cities?

With rents and grocery bills ever increasing, North Bay residents may wonder from time to time, are we middle class?

The Palo Alto Weekly posed the same question to their readers last month and found that out of more than 250 readers surveyed, 81 with incomes between $10,000 to $399,999 said they were 'middle class.' That is huge span from people who are struggling to those who in other parts of the country would be considered wealthy.

The Pew Research Center defines middle class as those earning 67 percent to 200 percent of the median household income. With a current national average of around $58,000 that means if you earn more than $115,000 you could be considered wealthy in national terms, but these boundaries vary at state and city levels.

Using the Pew ratio and statistics from the American Community Survey, Santa Rosa residents are middle class if they earn $42,012–$125,410; Vacaville, $51,326–$153,994; and San Rafael, $57,271–$171,830. For Palo Alto that boundary shifts up to $91,819–$274,086.

How do the major cities in Sonoma, Solano, Marin, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties compare to major urban centers to the south? Click through our gallery above to find out.

What to see how North Bay cities compare to the rest of the nation? View the Business Insider story here.

North Bay Business Journal contributed data from Solano and Marin counties to this report.

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