9 ways to know if you're middle class

There's no hard-and-fast definition, but surveys show what kind of income and lifestyle you're likely to have if you -- and others -- think you're middle class.

 of 11
 of 11


Dec 12, 2012 6:05PM

We are all living in thatched roof huts outside the castle gates, most of us very willingly.  Because we really don't know any better way or are familiar with much worse. Government, either by plan or by its over simplifying nature, informs us we are "middle class" and therefore we collectively believe a "middle class" exists.

That said, I don't know about the rest of you but me thinks being lied to about being middle class is a far cry better then the truth of being a common plain old working poor. Truth be told, even the workers who built the pyramids were paid and then probably told they were "middle class." Sure, the truth sucks that's why anybody who wants elected isn't going to say anything different. Lets face it, we are all collectively "suckers" for a great lie when its spun collectively. And it's certainly easier to believe when your family and neighbors accompany the tale with you. It must be truth if everyone believes!

One other thing, lots of folks who read this will disagree and clarify that they work hard and are paid appropriately. To that I say, good for you,,,,,my fellow sucker.

Dec 12, 2012 6:02PM

Middle class leans democrat??!!!!!!  

What a bunch of crap!!!

Dec 12, 2012 5:43PM
What a crock. Obama won by playying Santa Claus
Dec 12, 2012 5:43PM

The salary range, I can believe...the rest is all crap!

Dec 12, 2012 5:37PM
This is the FIRST TIME, I've seen "numbers" defining 'Middle Class'. I thought i was 'lower income' with less than $1,000 monthly from Soc. Sec.  I'd be happy to make $20,000 a year. "Cost of Living" increase = Food Stamp decrease. And a bunch of the richest 2% control congress. I'd like to take somebody's "Silver Spoon" and scrape their tonsils.
Dec 12, 2012 5:37PM

and whoes opinion is that of the middle class bohner the ****

Dec 12, 2012 5:22PM
So I'm not the 50%, or the 1%, I'm like the 13%.
Dec 12, 2012 5:16PM
Well sometimes I'm there (close to 50 G's).  But I will never shop Macy's again.  They pay their shoe sales associates slave wages and systematically cheat them out of commissions.
Dec 12, 2012 5:06PM

these estimations are very unrealistic. I'm middle class and don't qualify for almost any of these.

Dec 12, 2012 4:55PM



You arent even on their radar. While they do appreciate your vote...they have NEVER passed an economic law in your favor. And dont intend to and never will.


Minimum wage laws were voted AGAINST by republicans. Unions are voted AGAINST by republicans. Republicans are AGAINST women receiving comparable pay for similar performances. We not even need to address the race issue on economics and politics....


Unless you are a part of a special interest or lobbyist group where either you, or they through you, contribute several hundreds of thousands of dollars to a candidates campaign...you are wasting your affiliation, breath and posting.

Dec 12, 2012 4:52PM
Verizon FiOS you guys suck and so does your website...slower that sHlt and you all are stupid fvck.s
Dec 12, 2012 4:51PM

Who does this guy think he is kidding, 50k may get you at the bottom of the middle class but not be able to do what they are saying and not with that much in debt.

Dec 12, 2012 4:42PM

Bluntly put, the uthor of this article needs to be commited to an insane asylum strapped down buck naked to a gurney and forced to watch old "30 something" episodes.


The idea of a middle class is what is defined by upper class. Just as history is written in favor of the victor.


Realistically, the "middle class" is more like a delivery driver making $10-13/ hr (21k-28k/ yr) and his wife/ gf making roughly the same being a clerk, midmanager of sorts. That is roughly $55-60K/ yr factoring in overtime or bonuses., fof BOTH together.  


The concept of a household making $55-60k/ yr with child(ren), insurance, carpayments, taxes, etc--not counting judgements, leins and other financial obligations----


Well, you get the picture....


The problem is with this article (and other incompitent pundits and "ANALysts) is that the authors base their research from jackwagons with no REAL TIME contact with society at its grassroots.

Dec 12, 2012 4:37PM
I think both parties dem or rep are trying to making a sepratist country and they are doing a good job of it  rich poor middle where do you fall or fail????
Dec 12, 2012 4:11PM
 Middle class, Upper class, what is this the only way to get ahead today is to be a thief, They do not work (sounds an awful lot like what we have in congress) and sit around thinking where the next big score is or how they can get more from the Goverment ( share the wealth program) never mind the old days of taking from the rich and giving to the poor it is now take from the working people and give to those who want to sleep in and will never work.  I know if I did not work and provide for my family no one will. If I want to eat i have to work my butt off so I have the money to do so. I am tired of driving an old vehicle and buying hamburger to eat because that is all I can afford while the guy ahead of me in line is paying for his steaks with food stamps and loading them in to a BMW or something similar. Maybe if the working class rebelled and kicked out what every one calls congress and repopulated it with people who have actually worked for a living we might have a chance of bettering the world. We send billions of dollars to Countries to help them when in return they despise us.  I say to heck with them keep the money here in the US, shut down the Borders and cut our taxes.  Then take note of who are our friends then.  College that is a dream that each year grows farther and farther beyond reach. With taxes, health care costs home improvements and why invest since the investement companies lose your money but always seem to have the money to pay the Execs.  the Goverment will bail them out but for the people that are just bobbing trying to keep their heads above water are weighed down more and more.
Dec 12, 2012 3:50PM
To be in the middle class, you lean democratic?  Nonsense.
Dec 12, 2012 3:26PM

I'm 70 years old . never worked

any job more 3 years. But I still feel that I'm ahead of the game. My total bills are only $2000 a month.Because I've always lived within my means. Even though I wear alligator shoses. I never get anything on credit. In my city I can caddy,sell earrings in the streets etc:I feel sorry for people who have to work to make ends meet.Never had a wife never had any personal friends never had kids. I've never been under water. No rainy days stops me     Sell umbrellas at last stop on some subway line


Dec 12, 2012 3:13PM

The article is quite fair in summarizing the experience of 80% of Americans.  But if you live in Manhattan or the San Francisco Bay area, no, $40-100K per year is not going to allow you to have all the stuff mentioned.


I'd have added that a middle-class family can afford to own and operate some sort of a vehicle for each member either employed or performing household duties (such as shopping) outside the home, but other than that it's a pretty fair list.  By contrast, the working class or the poor would all share one vehicle, while the rich might have more vehicles than licensed drivers.


I think most Americans would consider President Obama's hypothetical $250K-per-year family "rich."  Actually, the consequences of the so-called "fiscal cliff" are closer to what the country SHOULD be doing right now than is either of the major parties' proposals:  bring the federal budget more into balance by BOTH increasing taxes and reducing spending, and reduce spending on defense by about a 4-to-1 proportion to social programs, since the latter will be needed more than ever for survival after the second part of the double-dip recession hits. 

Dec 12, 2012 3:11PM
I don't believe these figures for homes. DFW area in Texas is one of the cheaper places to live in the country. If you can find a home for 70 or 75K here, you would be hard pressed to call it a nice "middle class" neighborhood. And, according to this aritcle, that's the median, so I would hate to see the lower end of middle class housing. I am sorry, but it takes a lot more than that to be in the middle class, unless you have help from family, inheritance  money or whatever. With the costs for everything nowadays, the taxes, etc. 250K per family is a far cry from wealthy IMO.  
Dec 12, 2012 2:58PM
Probably the biggest factor in being "middle class" these days has to do with the instability of marriage as a whole.  You can be middle class if you are married, but when you get divorced you are suddenly lower class, but not low enough to get any assistance.  That is what happened to me. 
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.



Quotes delayed at least 15 min


There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.