Income is not the only way to determine your class status, but this exercise is interesting nevertheless (this will only work for people living in the USA- sorry!).
Here’s how you calculate your income category. Go to this website and enter your state and county. It will show you the MFI, or Median Family Income for your area. Median is different than average. Find an explanation here.
This is for a family of four.
If you are living alone, take this number and multiply by 0.7.
For two people in your family, multiply by 0.8.
For three, multiply by 0.9.
For five, multiply by 1.08.
For six, multiply by 1.16.
For seven, multiply by 1.24.
This calculation is the median for your area and family size. How do you find out how your income compares?
Take your yearly pre-tax income, and divide it by the MFI for your family size. Multiply this number by 100, and that is the percentage of your local MFI that you make. If the number is above 100, that means you make more than your area median. If the number is below 100, you make less.
If you make 0%-30% of the median, your income category is Extremely Low Income.
If you make 30%-50%, you are Very Low Income.
50%-80% is Low Income.
80%-120% is Moderate Income.
120%-250% is Middle Income.
250% and up is High Income.
So now you know.
MFI in New York City is $78,300.
For an individual MFI is: 78,300 x 0.7 = $54, 810
Say you make $30,000 a year pre-tax. To find your income category, 30,000 / 54,810 = 0.55. 0.55 x 100 = 55%. This means an individual in New York City making $30,000 a year is categorized as Low Income.
I found most of this information in the book “What is Affordable Housing?” by the Center for Urban Pedagogy.
Here’s a tool to look at income category distribution in New York City.