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You might not actually be middle-class

You might not actually be middle-class
[Photo: David McBee/Pexels]

But if so, you aren’t alone. Almost 70% of Americans consider themselves to be middle-class, but in actuality only 50% are, according to new research by Pew. While some people define class in America as more than just the money you make, that’s still the most accepted metric, which is why it’s more semantically appropriate to think of “middle-class” as “middle-income.”

As Pew notes in its study, “‘middle-income’ Americans are adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median, after incomes have been adjusted for household size.” The national medium income worked out to be $57,617 in 2016, meaning about 52% of the country is actually middle-class, despite almost 70% of the country believing they are.

So are you middle-class? That depends on your family size, according to Pew’s definition, says CNBC. Here’s how much you need to make to officially be middle-class:

  • Household of one: minimum of $26,093
  • Household of two: minimum of $36,902
  • Household of three: minimum of $45,195
  • Household of four: minimum of $52,187
  • Household of five: minimum of $58,347

According to Pew’s survey, that means in 2016 29% of America were lower-class, 52% were middle-class, and 19% were upper-class.

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