“Bear Market Economics” is an expression of Political Economics.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
What Is the Average Middle Class Salary Range?
What Is an Average Middle Class Salary Range?
By Stephanie Chandler, eHow Contributor
The 2008 census reported the medium income as $50,233.
is the middle class, and who defines it? There is no solid description
with clear salary ranges that define the middle class, but U.S. agencies
and economists do try to put numbers to this seemingly abstract group
As of 2009, the poverty threshold as determined by the U.S.
Census Bureau had not changed since 2006. For a family of four, it was
$21,203. For a family of three, it was $16,530. For a family of two and
unrelated individuals, it was $13,540 and $10,590, respectively.
U.S. Census Quintiles
The U.S. Census Bureau breaks down the reported household
incomes into quintiles (or five divisions). In 2007, the middle quintile
reported an income range of $36,000 to $57,660. Many economists and
politicians alike believe this range is too narrow to encompass the true
middle class of America. Therefore, a more generous range would include
the middle three quintiles, which makes the range from $19,178 to
$91,705. This range accounts for 60 percent of all households, and with
the lower end balancing near the poverty threshold, this range may not
be completely accurate.
The 2008 census reported the medium income as $50,233. The
PewResearch Center suggests that the middle income range is 75 percent
to 150 percent of the median income. This would make the middle class
income range $37,675 to $75,350. To most, this range seems small, and
surveys conducted by the PewResearch Center find that many who fall
outside this range still consider themselves middle class.
Economist Gary Burtless of Brookings Institution indicates
that the middle class encompasses from one-half the median income to
twice the median income. This would make the middle class income range
$25,117 to $100,466. MIT economist Frank Levy believes that those in the
middle class have enough money to afford the basic building blocks of a
good life, including a house, a car and money to pay necessary bills.
He suggests that families in their prime earning years are middle class
if they fall between $30,000 and $90,000.
More Than Income
Surveys conducted by the PewResearch Center confirm that
salary, or income, range is not the only determining factor of what
class a person considers himself. Four out of 10 Americans with incomes
below $20,000 classify themselves as middle class. On the other end,
one-third of those who enjoy incomes over $150,000 say they are middle