Minimum Annual Income Needed To Qualify As Middle Class In Tennessee 2024

Minimum Annual Income Needed To Qualify As Middle Class In Tennessee 2024

The minimum annual income to qualify as middle class in Tennessee in 2024 is crucial in determining families’ financial well-being. This article explores the latest data on middle-class income ranges, median incomes, and the impact of inflation in Tennessee, using findings from the US Census Bureau, Pew Research Center, and SmartAsset report.

What is a Middle-class Income in Tennessee?

The Pew Research Center states that middle-class income is two-thirds to double the area’s median salary. In Tennessee, the income range for middle-class households varies based on family size. The middle-class income range for a two-person family is from $40,158 to $119,874. This range increases for a three-person family, with the middle-class income bracket falling between $45,967 and $137,216. The middle-class income for a four-person family in Tennessee is even higher, ranging from $54,118 to $161,546. [1] [2] 

How Tennessee’s Middle-Class Income Range Compares to Other States

A recent report from SmartAsset analyzed middle-class income ranges across the United States. The report found that the national middle-class income range is approximately $49,271 to $147,828.

Tennessee’s middle-class income range falls slightly below the national average compared to other states. The states with the highest middle-class income ranges include New Jersey, which is $64,224 to $192,692, and California, which is $56,429 to $169,287. On the other hand, states like Mississippi and West Virginia have the lowest middle-class income ranges, with Mississippi’s range being $35,142 to $105,438.

Income Calculator: Determine Your Income Tier in Tennessee

An income calculator can be a valuable tool to help individuals determine their income tier in Tennessee. Using the calculator, select your household size from the drop-down menu. Next, choose your state of residence from the list provided.

Finally, enter your total household income before taxes in the designated text box. Once all the required information has been entered, click the “Calculate” button to see your income tier results. The calculator will better understand your household income and the middle-class range for your specific state and household size.

Median Income in Tennessee by Family Size

In addition to the middle-class income range, it’s essential to consider the median income in Tennessee based on family size. According to data from the US Department of Justice, the median income for a one-person family in Tennessee is $53,188.

The median income for a two-person family increases to $66,989. A three-person family has a median income of $75,394, while a four-person family’s median income is $91,069.

It’s worth noting that an extra $9,900 is considered in the median income calculation for each additional family member beyond a four-person household.

Tennessee’s Economic Landscape: Median Household Income, Per Capita Income, and Poverty Rate

To better understand Tennessee’s economic landscape, it’s essential to examine the state’s median household income, per capita income, and poverty rate. According to the latest figures from the US Census Bureau, Tennessee’s median household income is $64,035, and the per capita income is $36,040.

Approximately 13.30% of the state’s population lives below the poverty line. Compared to neighboring states, such as Kentucky, Tennessee fares slightly better. Kentucky’s median household income is $60,183, with a per capita income of $33,515 and a higher poverty rate of 16.50%.

SmartAsset Report: Analyzing Middle-Class Income Ranges Across the US.

SmartAsset’s report on middle-class income ranges across the United States provides valuable insights into the economic disparities between states and cities. The report’s methodology involved analyzing data from the US Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center to determine the middle-class income ranges for all 50 states and 345 of the nation’s largest cities.

The report’s key findings highlight the significant variations in middle-class income ranges across the country. States like New Jersey and California have the highest ranges, while states like Mississippi and West Virginia have the lowest.

The Impact of Inflation on Middle-Class Earnings

Inflation has significantly impacted middle-class purchasing power in recent years. According to one government analysis, a middle-class household would need to earn at least $10,000 more annually to maintain the same standard of living as they did three years ago.

This erosion of purchasing power has made it increasingly challenging for middle-class families to keep up with rising living costs. Despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to cool hiring and tame inflation, prices have remained elevated, further straining middle-class budgets.

Tennessee Cities: Middle-Class Income Ranges in Nashville Versus Memphis

When examining middle-class income ranges in Tennessee, it’s essential to consider the variations among the state’s major cities. The SmartAsset report analyzed the middle-class income ranges for several Tennessee cities, including Nashville, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Memphis.

While the specific ranges vary by city, they generally fall within the state’s middle-class income range. For example, in Nashville, the middle-class income range is $47,918 to $143,754; in Memphis, the range is $39,088 to $117,264. These city-specific ranges provide a more nuanced understanding of the economic conditions faced by middle-class households in different parts of the state.

The Widening Gap: States with the Highest and Lowest Middle-Class Income Ranges

The SmartAsset report also highlights the widening gap between states with the highest and lowest middle-class income ranges. States like New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts have significantly higher middle-class income ranges than Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas.

This disparity can be attributed to various factors, including cost of living, job markets, and economic policies. The widening gap between states has significant implications for middle-class households, as those living in states with lower income ranges may face more considerable challenges in achieving financial stability and upward mobility.

Exploring the Most and Least Expensive Cities for Middle-Class Households

In addition to analyzing middle-class income ranges by state, the SmartAsset report also identified the most and least expensive cities for middle-class households. The report found that cities in California, such as Sunnyvale, Fremont, and San Mateo, have some of the country’s highest middle-class income ranges, with households needing to earn well over $100,000 annually to be considered middle-class.

On the other hand, cities like Detroit, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio, have the lowest middle-class income ranges, with households needing to earn less than $30,000 annually to be considered middle-class. These findings underscore the significant variations in the cost of living and economic opportunities across different cities in the United States.


Navigating the complex landscape of middle-class income in Tennessee requires a comprehensive understanding of the state’s economic conditions, median incomes, and the impact of inflation. By examining the US Census Bureau data, the Pew Research Center, and the SmartAsset report, we gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by middle-class households in Tennessee and across the United States.

As we look toward the future, policymakers, employers, and individuals must work together to promote economic stability, reduce income disparities, and ensure that the middle class can thrive in an ever-changing world.

By staying informed about the minimum annual income needed to qualify as middle class in Tennessee in 2024, families can better prepare for the financial challenges ahead and work towards building a more secure future.