The top 25 states to live out the American Dream, ranked

f11photo/ShutterstockUtah is one of the best places to live the American Dream.
  • The American Dream is more achievable in some states than others.
  • SmartAsset recently released a report on the best states to live for the middle class, defined as households with an income between $US35,000 and $US100,000.
  • Western and Midwestern states are the best places to live the American Dream, while northeastern states are the toughest.

With the cost of buying a home higher than it’s ever been, it may seem like the American Dream is endangered. But in some states, it’s closer within reach than it seems.

SmartAsset recently took a look at the best states for the middle class to live by examining seven metrics related to owning a home and retiring – two classic components of the American Dream. Specifically, they looked at SmartAsset and US Census Bureau data connected to income, homeownership, and taxes across all 50 states, plus Washington DC. This included the percentage of middle-class households in each state, which are defined as households with an income between $US35,000 and $US100,000.

SmartAsset then ranked each state in each metric and averaged each state’s ranking, giving double weight to the percentage of middle-class households.

Turns out, the best states for Americans to live out the American Dream are located in the west, closely followed by states in the Midwest. The northeast is the toughest area for the American Dream to become a reality.

“With high tax burdens, low homeownership rates, and unaffordable housing, it is not too surprising that states in the Northeast tumble down the ranks,” states the report. Only two states in the northeast – New Hampshire and Maine – made the top 25.

Below, see the top 25 states for the middle class to live the American Dream.


25. Colorado

Percentage of middle-class households: 44.7%

Income tax rate: 19.9%

Median home value: $US314,200


24. South Carolina

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Percentage of middle-class households: 44.7%

Income tax rate: 18.7%

Median home value: $US153,900


23. Ohio

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Percentage of middle-class households: 45.2%

Income tax rate: 18.6%

Median home value: $US140,100


22. Maine

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Percentage of middle-class households: 45.4%

Income tax rate: 17.8%

Median home value: $US184,700


21. Oklahoma

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Percentage of middle-class households: 44.8%

Income tax rate: 18.3%

Median home value: $US132,200


20. Texas

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Percentage of middle-class households: 43.2%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US161,500


19. New Hampshire

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Percentage of middle-class households: 44.7%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US251,100


18. Washington

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Percentage of middle-class households: 44%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US306,400


17. Missouri

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Percentage of middle-class households: 46.1%

Income tax rate: 18.6%

Median home value: $US151,400


16. Florida

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Percentage of middle-class households: 45%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US197,700


15. Wisconsin

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Percentage of middle-class households: 47%

Income tax rate: 19.4%

Median home value: $US173,200


14. Indiana

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Percentage of middle-class households: 47.3%

Income tax rate: 19.7%

Median home value: $US134,800


13. Montana

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Percentage of middle-class households: 46.4%

Income tax rate: 19%

Median home value: $US217,200


12. Kansas

Percentage of middle-class households: 46.3%

Income tax rate: 18%

Median home value: $US144,900


10. Minnesota (TIE)

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Percentage of middle-class households: 44.8%

Income tax rate: 18.6%

Median home value: $US211,800


10. Iowa (TIE)

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Percentage of middle-class households: 47.4%

Income tax rate: 20.2%

Median home value: $US142,300


9. Nevada

Percentage of middle-class households: 46.4%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US239,500


8. Nebraska

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Percentage of middle-class households: 46.3%

Income tax rate: 18%

Median home value: $US239,500


6. Tennessee (TIE)

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Percentage of middle-class households: 44.9%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US157,700


6. Arizona (TIE)

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Percentage of middle-class households: 45.5%

Income tax rate: 17.3%

Median home value: $US205,900


4. North Dakota (TIE)

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Percentage of middle-class households: 45.7%

Income tax rate: 16%

Median home value: $US184,100


4. Idaho (TIE)

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Percentage of middle-class households: 48%

Income tax rate: 19%

Median home value: $US189,400


3. South Dakota

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Percentage of middle-class households: 49.1%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US160,700


2. Wyoming

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Percentage of middle-class households: 46.2%

Income tax rate: 15.3%

Median home value: $US209,500


1. Utah

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Percentage of middle-class households: 49.1%

Income tax rate: 19.7%

Median home value: $US250,300

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