A Middle Class Family’s Average Annual Income
How will you know if you belong to the middle class? A lot of Americans claim that they are not rich, and belong to middle class families. It can be hard to determine a family’s status in the society without looking into the middle class salary. Even the term middle class income is still undefined and vague. Yet, despite this vagueness, you may have heard the unending promises of politicians to help not only the rich people but also the middle class families.
Before going any further, you should first define what a middle class family is. A Congressional Research Service paper entitled ‘Who are the Middle Class?’ written by Brian W. Cashell claimed that the US government has no definite and official definition for the term middle class. It is more of a personal idea rather than considering public knowledge and cultural definitions. Regardless of this fact, politicians continue to use the term as though it has an established definition known to the people.
Middle Class Average Income Range: $36,000 - $57,657
On a narrow view, a middle class family is said to have a mean average household income of $46,829 on a yearly basis. The numbers reflected on the 2010 Census showed that middle class average yearly income range from $36,000 - $57,657. Such figures fall on the third quintile. The Census Bureau uses ‘quintiles’ to divide household incomes and this can serve as the basis to determine if you indeed belong to the middle class families.
On a broader perspective, it can be said that the middle class families are those that belong to the second quintile including the third and fourth quintiles. Cashell on his paper also mentioned that the middle class families are in between the rich and impoverished Americans. Based on this meaning, the yearly income of middle class households can range from $19,178 - $91,704 or a mean average income of $55,441. As you may have noticed, the range is wider in comparison to the narrow view of middle class but it can back up the claims that around 60% of Americans consider themselves as middle class families.
Many factors can affect a family’s lifestyle and household income. During the ‘great recession’, 31% of middle class Americans claimed that they have been gravely affected by recession. This was the result of a public opinion survey in 2008 by the Pew Research Center. These respondents also said that maintaining a middle class lifestyle was also harder in comparison to their lifestyles five years earlier.
In the end, it all boils down to how responsible and hardworking you are as an individual. It is really hard to tell whether you belong to the poor, middle class, or rich families. As long as you’re contented and happy with your life, you can consider yourself as a rich individual. These social classes are merely in the minds of people until an exact definition is established by the United States government. The figures provided by the Census are still inconclusive, but may serve as reference for those who want to determine their social standing.