19 December 2005

Middle class norm?

I recently saw a post that seemed to claim that middle class families are the majority of the US population, and low income families are a minority. I've worked with low-income students, and I went to college were a lot of my classmates were from middle America, where middle class rich people aren't that common, so I took offense at that assumption. Then I decided to look at it statistically if I could.

While middle class is a fluid term, common definitions include

  1. the amount of your family's yearly income,

  2. acheiving a college degree,

  3. having a professional occupation, or

  4. the amount of your family's savings.[1, 2]

I managed to find answers to the first two, and for one, middle class are NOT the majority, and the other the poor constitute a large minority.

  1. In 2003, 12.5% of the US population lived in poverty, defined as less than "$18,810 for a family of four; $14,680 for a family of three; $12,015 for a family of two; and $9,393 for an individual."[3] This info was difficult to find, as lots of census reports abound, but they go by percentiles[4] rather than histograms, which would be easier to understand.

  2. In 2004, around 33% of the US population over age 18 had any college degree, or around 25% if you only count bachelor's degrees and higher.[5]

I'm still working on #'s 3 and 4. If you know a reference, comment!

1 comment:

Doctor Life said...

I'm not sure if a proper response would be to take offence. I may have been wrong. I think, also, that what your statistics ahow is that the process is further along than I thought it was. I beg your pardon for not realizing as much.

What I was trying to point out is that the fairest, most equal societies have a large (majority)class of people who have spending and political power. In North America it is rapidy changing. Thank you for enlightening me.

As ever, God Bless.