Curators of Black Media

Study: 70% of Americans believe they’re middle class

A shocking 70% of Americans consider themselves middle class.

Dr Alicia and I unpack what this means. According to Acorns:

About 70% of Americans consider themselves middle class, according to a 2017 study by Northwestern Mutual. But according to most economists’ definitions, that’s not possible.

One of the ways the Brookings Institution defines “middle class” is those in the 20th to 80th percentiles of household income. This would make 60% of American households middle class. The Urban Institute defines the middle class as those whose income is from 250% to 499% of the federal poverty line. By this measure, 31% of households were middle class in 2019. And the Pew Research Center, which uses government data to take into consideration household sizes and income, found that 52% of Americans live in a middle-income household in 2018. (To see if you’re middle class based on those financial measures, use Grow’s middle-class calculator.)