These Are The Most Unaffordable Cities in America for the Working Class

There have been many reports about the middle class and its struggle for survival. It seems as if the divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow every year. However, the working class also has its own unique struggles. In fact, they are deeply impacted when it comes to choosing an affordable place to live. They have fewer options when it comes to housing due to less income. For many members of the working class, their lack of resources prevents them from living in neighborhoods where the middle class might be able to live comfortably.

Using data from, we analyzed cities where the working class is barely scraping by. The researchers at took factors into consideration such as housing, living, and transportation costs in each city. They subtracted the average amount for these costs from what a typical working-class family would make in each location. Their results showed how much a working-class household would have left over at the end of the year after paying all their basic expenses. We also used data from Sperling’s Best Places to get additional information on the cost of living in each of these cities.

Here are 15 cities where the working class is hit the hardest, according to research from and Sperling’s Best Places.

15. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans

New Orleans’ working class has an average shortfall of $22,000. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Money left over at the end of the year: $-22,000
  • Sperling’s Cost of Living Index (U.S. average = 100): 96.40

A typical working-class household in New Orleans, Louisiana, would have a shortfall of $22,000 at the end of the year. A middle-class couple in New Orleans tends to have an annual household income of $76,368 and typically has a surplus of $746. Sperling’s Best Places gave New Orleans a cost of living rating of 96.40, which is lower than the U.S. average of 100. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New Orleans averages about $811 per month, which is close to the United States average of $825.

Next: Fremont, California

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