I don't know the official stats but I would say that a majority of Texas residents live paycheck to paycheck. That really doesn't live up to the phrase of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" in our Declaration of Independence, does it? Is it greed? Is it corporations that value investors over employees? Is it an inept government? Whatever the reason, a majority of Texans struggle financially. Proof is in a new study that shows what it would take to be "middle class" in Texas.

General Statistics

This study comes from Pew Research Center which showed a dramatic difference in the middle class over the last 50 plus years in the United States. Some general stats show that middle class households made up 61% of the population in 1971 but only made up 50% of the population in 2021. A big reason is inflation, especially like we've seen over the last couple of years. Wages not going up combined with the prices of everything going up does not make for a good combination.

Middle Class 1971 - 2021 - Pew Research Center
Middle Class 1971 - 2021 - Pew Research Center
Income Increases 1970-2020 - Pew Research Center
Income Increases 1970-2020 - Pew Research Center
Middle Class Income Plunge - Pew Research Center
Middle Class Income Plunge - Pew Research Center

Numbers Texas in 2023

In Texas, Pew Research Center was able to calculate what it would take to be considered middle class. This could be a combined household total income or that of an individual. In Texas, in 2023, your total income would have to be...


That would put Texas at 30th out of the 50 states which I guess is good? Hawaii tops the list with a total income of $82,630 to be considered middle class. Some two income households in Texas don't even make that much. Mississippi came in at 50th with a total income of $60,431 to be considered middle class in that state.

East Texas Statistics

The above statistics didn't break it down by city so it would be hard to calculate how those numbers could look for us in East Texas. But if I had to make a guess, possible $62,000ish could make you middle class in East Texas. Even if you could consider yourself middle class, it's still a struggle financially. Paying rent or a mortgage, two car payments, taking care of two kids (on average), groceries, medicine, utility bills, yeah, it's rough staying ahead.

We'll Just Keep Plugging Away

I guess we all just need to hope for that elusive lottery jackpot win so we don't have to worry about any of that anymore. But then, that comes with it's own headache as well. We'll just keep plugging away in hopes that our money slowly builds so we can truly relax at some point.

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