The calculator lets users compare themselves to their metropolitan area, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, and among Americans nationwide overall, based on the average size of a U.S. household, as well as compare on the basis of education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status.
Pew reported, based on 2018 data, 52% of Americans are in middle-income households; 29% are in lower-income households; 19% are in upper-income households.
An area's cost-of-living determines which Americans are middle class.
In Jackson, Tennessee, with a price level in 2018 that was 19.0% less than the national average, you need an income of only about $39,300 to be middle class.
A Pew Research Center survey conducted April 29-May 5, 2020 reported 36% of lower-income Americans and 28% of middle-income Americans and 22% of upper-income Americans lost a job or took a pay cut due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a Center survey conducted in April 2020, only 23% of lower-income Americans, 48% of middle-income Americans and 75% of upper-income Americans said they had surplus funds that could last three months.