The American Dream Is Out of Reach of Most Working Class American Families

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Most of America’s Largest Cities No Longer Affordable to Live In

An average American working-class family can no longer afford the “American Dream”—at least, in most parts of the country.

Data compiled by—a website that employs infographics to visualize America’s financial and economic issues—shows that only about a dozen of America’s 50 largest cities can be considered affordable to live in for a typical working-class American family.

Families having two adults and two children, who are living off a low-cost food plan in rented housing, were considered for the data.

It was found that in the majority of the biggest and most populous urban cities, the typical American family cannot survive on its income alone and would be forced to take on debt to maintain a good living standard, after having paid for living costs like housing, food, and transportation.


San Antonio is the only one out of the 10 most populous cities in America which was identified as being relatively affordable for the average working-class family to live in without taking on debt and while maintaining a “decent standard of living.”

Meanwhile, Arizona was found to be the most affordable state having the most cities in the top 10 affordable cities that would leave American families with a surplus at the end of the year, after paying for all living costs.

Overall, Fort Worth in Texas; Newark in New Jersey; and Glendale, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona, in that order, were identified as the most affordable cities. While New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia, in that order, were found to be the most unaffordable cities to live in, forcing working-class families into debt.

Not surprisingly, it is also identified that coastal cities are increasingly less affordable, while areas away from the coast—mostly in the country’s interior part—are relatively more affordable. In fact, not a single city was identified as being affordable along America’s west coast.

Ultimately, it becomes obvious that low-income families are better off living in small cities and towns where costs of living are relatively affordable compared to bigger cities. The trade-off, however, is that they may have to give up on their “American Dream” of achieving better standards of life.



The Working Class Can’t Afford the American Dream,”, August 31, 2017.


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