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Are You Part of NYC's Middle Class?


Mayor Bill de Blasio's vision for the five boroughs is to move past the "tale of two cities," to create "a city where everyone has a shot at the middle class," he said during his State of the City address earlier this month.

But just who is part of New York City's middle class? It is not an exact science. Here's why. [...]

A City Council report from 2013, however, expanded the definition of middle class upward to a family earning roughly $200,000.

Being middle class is also grounded in achieving a certain standard of living and that's often different depending on one's neighborhood, family size and when someone got into the housing market, said Amy Traub, senior policy analyst at the New York-based think tank Demos.

A middle class lifestyle, she said, is often is defined as "being able to afford things like quality health care; a safe and stable home — whether it's a house or an apartment and is owned or rented; the opportunity to provide a good education for one’s children; time off work for vacations and major life events; the chance to save; and the anticipation of a secure retirement."

Having enough for a MetroCard or car to travel to and from work is important, as is job security, Traub said. "If a household can afford these things today but constantly fears losing a job or seeing hours and income cutback, it won't feel much like a middle-class life."