The New York Times set out to define what “middle class” means in Manhattan.It points out that Manhattan is one of the only places in the world where a housing project can sit next to a luxury penthouse.
What does a middle class citizen in NYC look like?
According to NYT:
- Middle class people in NYC make between $45,000 and $134,000 per year (in other parts of the country the range is $33,000 to $100,000 per year)
- In order to feel middle class and have some sort of purchasing power, they have to make at least $80,000.
- Middle class citizens spend between $200,000 and $588,000 when buying homes in NYC.
- The usually don’t have children (only 17% of households in NYC have kids)
- The average Manhattan apartment costs $3,973 a month, more than $2,800 the national average. The average home in Manhattan sold for $1.46 million last year.
- Jonathan Bowles, the executive director of the centre for an Urban Future, says middle class status depends on how long a person has lived in Manhattan. “If you bought an apartment prior to 2000, or have long been in a rent-stabilised apartment, you could probably be a teacher in Manhattan and be solidly middle class,” he tells NYT. “But if you bought or started renting in a market-rate apartment over the last 5 or 10 years, you could probably be a management consultant and barely have any savings.”
- Of course, being middle class is also a matter of opinion. A woman who makes $40,000 per year told NYT: “Middle class, to me, is having a pretty good job, enough money to pay bills and rent, and then a little extra.”
If you make more than $790,000 in Manhattan, you’re considered part of the 1%. “The wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites make 40 times more than the lowest fifth,” says NYT.
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