What it takes to be middle class in America

America's middle class might be its backbone, but it's an increasingly spindly one. 

About 52 percent of Americans fall into the middle class, down from 61 percent in 1971, according to research from the Pew Research Center. And financially, people who have managed to maintain their perch in the middle aren't much better off than they were in 2000. Thank the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing recession for that.


Here's the average household income in your state. Agree or disagree?

Not all paychecks are created equal: A small paycheck can go a long way, or a large paycheck doesn't go nearly as far because of the costs of living in different places.

To give you a better gauge of how your income stacks up with the average income by state, including the District of Columbia, GOBankingRates looked at household income data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the median incomes of women and men using data from the American Association of University Women.

Click through to see how your income compares to the average household income by state.