A recent report showed that there were nearly 23,000 tenant households in Washington earning at least $150,000 annually as of 2017—one of the highest totals of any major U.S. city.
Basically, that meant that Washington was—and is—a fertile ground for a growing breed of American: The affluent renter, one who pulls in quite a bit by most measures but who still finds it difficult, if not impossible, to buy.
The analysis was yet another sign of just how costly it can be to live in Washington and much of its surrounding region.
Washington also has some of the worst traffic congestion in the U.S. Such gridlock costs drivers in a way that goes beyond the gas pump: They lose hours doing anything else but driving. Things aren’t much zippier for those commuting via mass transit, either.
Then there area the reports showing the continuing cost escalation and inventory tightening of the regional for-sale housing market. Never mind missives detailing how the district’s renaissance of recent years has failed to lift all boats.
Which all leads to our latest open thread: What is “middle class” in the D.C. area?
In a city and a region where people making well over six figures can be grateful for that two-bedroom, where a 90-minute commute one way is seen as normal, where costs can preclude longterm life planning, what does it mean to be solidly socioeconomically comfortable?
What are some of the signs and the signifiers? Sound off in the comments section below.