March 25, 2014

Who Thinks They're In the Middle Class?

I started with the idea of writing an article asking why everyone in America seems to think they're in the middle class.   Too frequently I see people with very high or very low incomes self identify themselves as members of the middle class.   I just saw someone with an income over $200k talk about being in the middle class for example.  

Then I found this survey Despite recovery, fewer Americans identify as middle class  from the Pew Research Center.

Their survey found that 44% of people call themselves middle class, which is not what I'd thought.    I had the apparently mistaken impression that the vast majority of Americans called themselves middle class.     They also show that 15% of people are in the upper or upper-middle class.      That number is higher than I'd thought too.   However they don't seem to break it down to who thinks they're in the upper class strictly versus people who claim upper-middle class status.   I'd be interested to see that breakdown.   Sadly a whopping 40% of Americans feel they are in the lower class.

Whats worse is that in just the past 6 years the size of the middle class has dropped from 52% to 44%.   The upper class dropped from 21% to 15%.   The lower class has shot up from 25% to 40%.
If that trend continues then in a couple years the lower class will be larger than our middle class.


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