We are the Median: Faces and voices from the series

Dec. 15, 2011 at 7:45 AM ET

For the past two weeks,’s Life Inc. blog has been exploring what it’s like to live on the nation’s median household income of about $50,000 a year: Not rich, not poor, but rather in the exact midpoint of the nation’s income spectrum.

To conclude the series, we asked the people we interviewed to tell us, on video and in their own words, a bit about what it’s like to be part of the median. Here’s what they had to say:

For some, a household income of around $50,000 a year is enough to live comfortably with a large family. For others, it’s not enough to cover rent and utilities.

Many people living on around $50,000 a year told us that they are doing fine, but not great. They can cover their bills and feed their families, but there is little leftover for an emergency car repair or a family vacation.

How well a household can do on $50,000 a year depends on a number of factors: Where you live, how large your family is, how well you’ve budgeted and what kind of financial curveballs you’ve been thrown.

More on this series:

Click here to see previous stories in our "We are the median" series. We’re also sharing our thoughts — and yours — on Twitter (hashtag #median), Facebook and Google Plus. We invite you to comment on our posts — but keep it civil and on topic, please!


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