High-Income Urban Consumers 25% More Likely than Suburban Ones to Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck
A recent study by PYMNTS and LendingClub entitled “New Reality Check: The Regional Divide Edition” found that city dwellers are feeling the financial pressure of increased cost-of-living, despite having higher incomes. Though 36 percent of urban consumers earn more than $100,000 annually, 70 percent live paycheck to paycheck, which is 25 percent more compared to suburban consumers.
Unsurprisingly, 63 percent of rural consumers are in a similar financial situation as they manage tight budgets. Only 16 percent of high-income earners live in rural areas, compared to 29 percent of low-income individuals.
PYMNTS noted that these disparities could be due to the fact that 48 percent of millennials live in the city. Additionally, there is a larger proportion of seniors and baby boomers—many who are on fixed incomes because of retirement—living in rural areas, at 32 percent.
The data shows that income isn’t the only factor in determining whether consumers are able to handle financial difficulties. Lifestyle trends among urban, suburban, and rural consumers reveal that location influences how and why consumers are living paycheck to paycheck.
Western regions have experienced the most significant year-over-year increases of consumers living paycheck to paycheck in recent years. The report noted that “the share of those living in the West did increase from 59% in April 2022 to 64% in April 2023, indicating that the rising cost of living has affected consumers in this region the most.”