A Twitter employee earning $160,000 in San Francisco says he's scraping by

The income you need to afford a home in the biggest U.S. cities

It's expensive to live in San Francisco — even if you make six figures.

In an article published earlier this year, The Guardian reported on an anonymous Twitter employee in his 40s who says that, even on a $160,000 annual salary, he's barely scraping by in Silicon Valley.

"I didn't become a software engineer to be trying to make ends meet," he told The Guardian.

The employee's biggest expense is the $3,000 monthly rent he pays on a two-bedroom house where he lives with his wife and two kids, which he describes as "ultra cheap."

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"Families are priced out of the market," he says, explaining that it's hard to compete with the hordes of 20-somethings willing to pile into a shared house — and still pay $2,000 per person for a room.

The employee's grievances are echoed by many of his fellow tech workers in the Bay Area.

Another woman who spoke to The Guardian says that although she and her partner make a combined salary of over $1 million, they can't afford a house. "This is part of where the American dream is not working out here," she says.

San Francisco's Painted Ladies
Andria Patino | Getty Images

San Francisco is notorious as one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., and the booming tech industry has only exacerbated the cost of housing. The median rent price is $3,320 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $4,430 for a two-bedroom, according to real estate site Zumper. That's more than twice as much as the median rent price for the country overall, which sits at $1,164 for a one-bedroom and $1,377 for a two-bedroom.

Engineers at prominent tech firms can expect to fork over 40 to 50 percent of their annual salaries to rent an apartment near work, according to one study cited by The Guardian.

Things are even worse in San Francisco for those outside of the most lucrative sectors. Doctors can't afford 58 percent of the homes in the city, according to a recent study by Trulia, and teachers can expect to put up to 77 percent of their income toward housing, Curbed San Francisco reports.

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The income you need to afford a home in the biggest U.S. cities