comScore

Even on $100,000, Minneapolis is America's 10th least affordable city

Minneapolis' average monthly housing costs are now just $156 below New York City's.

Minneapolis' average monthly housing costs are now just $156 below New York City's.

It's not news that those of modest income are being priced out of Minneapolis. What may surprise you is that even the solidly middle-class are taking a beating.

Magnify Money, a consumer finance site, has compiled some interesting stats from the U.S. Census and beyond. Though the troubles of the poor get a great deal of ink, it wanted to examine the woes of a young couple with a preschool child earning a combined $100,000. The findings are not pretty.

Forty-one percent of U.S. couples break that 100k threshold, making it a fairly common income. Minneapolis, with higher wages, registers at 54 percent. Still, that's barely enough to make ends meet.

The site's rankings assume said family has the typical work health coverage, 401k contributions, tax deductions, and spending habits. The most punishing cities are a lineup of the obvious. Big Tech has made San Jose the worst, followed by D.C., San Francisco, Boston, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, the nation's highest-income state.

What's surprising—or perhaps heartbreaking—is that Minneapolis has surpassed Denver, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and L.A. among the least attainable.

Minneapolis' costs tend to be relatively average for things like food, transportation, etc. Where the pricing begins to soar is with state taxes and housing.

At $439, the city's state tax burden was the highest in the country, more than twice what one would pay in California. A great deal of benefits come from that, but this can be of little solace when the monthly bills are bleeding red.

The city also has abnormally high housing costs, especially for the Midwest. While an average of $1,953 a month doesn't compare to San Jose's $2,760, we're now just $156 a month below the New York City average.

Part of the problem is simple math. Minneapolis is a geographically tiny city, with scant available land to build. And unlike most Midwest cities, it's growing rapidly, up nearly 50,000 people since 2010. So while taxes may be high, they produce the amenities and social livability driving new residents to town.

Housing, of course, is another matter. Though the city has been on a building bender for years, it can't keep pace with all these newcomers. And since developers' principal pursuit is profit, most of the new construction consists of higher-end condos and apartments, which only exacerbates the grand divide between the have and have-nots.

Throw it all together, and the prototype couple has just $149 left in disposable income each month.