SF households earning up to \$192k can still be considered middle class, study says

# SF households earning up to \$192k can still be considered middle class, study says

Earning a six-figure income in San Francisco? A new study suggests that your household needs to bring in around \$200,000 a year before you make it to upper class.

The study, by GOBankingRates, uses income data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and determines its middle class income range delineation using a simple equation. Specifically, a city's middle class income range is calculated by multiplying the area's median income by two-thirds its amount and by double its amount. In San Francisco, where the median household income is \$96,265, the middle income range is \$64,177 to an eye-popping \$192,530.

"Household income" means the total of what everyone in the home is earning. Typically, that would consist of a couple's combined income, but it can also include pay earned by kids aged 15 and older.

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To check the range where you live, take your zip code's median income (find it here), multiply it by 0.66666 and also multiply it by 2. That will give you your city's "middle class range." Household size can factor in significantly; class status would vary drastically within that range, depending on whether you have four or five people to support on that household income, versus a single person without kids.

The study measured middle class income ranges for the 200 largest American cities. Five of those — San Francisco, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Oakland and Fremont — landed in the study's top 20, in terms of how high the range stretches.

All five cities were found to have extremely high upper limits for the middle class designation, but the highest wasn't San Francisco or somewhere in pricey Silicon Valley. It was actually found to be Fremont, which was has a middle class income range of between \$81,461 to \$244,382.

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The study's author, Andrew DePietro, notes that locals in the East Bay city have moved away from the manufacturing sector onto more "scientific and management" career paths.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, the median income reached levels nearly as high as Fremont. See the middle income ranges for the five Bay Area cities in the above gallery.

Alyssa Pereira is an SFGATE staff writer. Email her at apereira@sfchronicle.com or find her on Twitter at @alyspereira.