10/18/2012 12:56 pm ET Updated Oct 19, 2012

Miami's Middle Class Hit Hardest By Transportation And Housing Costs: Study

The presidential debates have been centered around America’s middle class, and according to a new study, Miamians could really use some relief.

The Center for Housing Policy in Washington, D.C. found that the Miami metro area is the least affordable place to live for the middle class thanks to housing and transportation costs: the two expenses on average eat up 72 percent of a Miamian's monthly income.

While examining the 25 largest American metropolitan areas, the center found that in Miami, housing and transportation costs have increased 47 percent since 2000 -- but income has increased only 21 percent.

The average monthly income is $2,882 in Miami, while transportation takes out $922 and housing another $1,152, according to the 2006 to 2010 American Community Survey. While Miami isn't the most expensive place to live, hacing 72 percent of a family's income wiped away by housing and transportation gives Miami the highest “cost of burden” in the entire country.

Miami is followed by Riverside, CA with 69 percent lost on housing and transportation, Tampa at 66 percent, and Los Angeles at 65 percent.

“When we compare cost burden — the share of a household budget spent on housing plus transportation expenses — we see a much different picture of affordability than when just comparing expenses,” according to the study. “In spite of roughly average housing and transportation expenses... these expenses are so out of sync with the local median income, which is one of the lowest in the nation.”

Those who choose to rent are slightly better off in the Magic City, as “only” 69 percent of their income is spent on housing and transportation. For moderate-income homeowners, cost of burden is a whopping 75 percent.