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Do You Consider Yourself Middle Class?

Poll QuestionThe percentage of Americans who consider themselves middle class is at an all-time low.

And no, it’s not because they’ve elevated themselves to the upper class.

A Pew Research Center/USA Today survey found more people identify themselves as lower middle class, increasing 15 percentage points from 25% in 2008 to today’s 40%.

That’s helped drop the number who say they are in the middle class from 53% in 2008 to 44% now. In 2012, it was 49%.

Of course, defining the middle class isn’t the easiest task. USA Today addressed the fact that no one seems to be able to agree on what income level exactly constitutes the middle class in an April 2013 article:

“In the past few years, the ‘middle class’ income range has been described as between $32,900 and $64,000 a year (a Pew Charitable Trusts study), between $50,800 and $122,000 (a U.S. Department of Commerce study), and between $20,600 and $102,000 (the U.S. Census Bureau’s middle 60% of incomes).”

That’s quite a range. No wonder people are confused.

Although, there are some hard figures to back up this identity shift. The Census Bureau reports that the median household income decreased 8% during the Great Recession, from $55,627 in 2007 to $51,017 in 2012.

Still, the 2012 figure fits every classification that USA Today listed for its story.

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How would you classify yourself?
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  1. A.Bundy said:
    on February 11th at 12:03 am

    In NYC manhattan, making under six figures is below poverty. middle class is usually making $250,000+. Your class depends on the real estate value of units for sale and units of rent in a upper class area, then the calculation of your income based on that area. More than half of $100,000 of an annual income in NYC would more than likely go towards paying rent/food/transportation.