Middle-class families are making less money in almost every U.S. state. Median incomes have dropped nationwide since 1999, in some places by nearly 9 percent. Still, according to a GOBankingRates study that identified "the best and worst states for the middle class," it's easier to get by in certain states than it is in others.
To be considered middle class, you have to earn an annual household income of "two-thirds to double the national median, after incomes have been adjusted for household size," according to Pew Research Center data. The most recent national household median income estimate was $59,039, the United States Census Bureau reports.
Based on GOBankingRates' study, which considers changes in income versus the costs of big-ticket items like housing and college tuition, here are the five best states in the US for the middle class: