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US Department of Commerce Report: Middle Class In America (2010)

US Department of Commerce Report: Middle Class In America (2010)

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Published by wmartin46
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Most Americans consider themselves middle class. This raises the question, what does it mean to be middle class? This report examines various definitions, discusses middle class values and aspirations, and presents hypothetical budgets showing how these aspirations might be achieved with different incomes. Finally, we consider whether or not it is harder to live a middle class lifestyle today than it was twenty years ago.

Income levels alone do not define the middle class. Many very high and very low income persons report themselves as middle class. Social scientists have explained this by defining “middle class” as a combination of values, expectations, and aspirations, as well as income levels. Middle class families and those aspiring to be part of the middle class want economic stability, a home and a secure retirement. They want to protect their children’s health and send them to college. They also want to own cars and take family vacations. However, aspirations alone are not enough; middle class families know that to achieve these goals they must work hard and save.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Most Americans consider themselves middle class. This raises the question, what does it mean to be middle class? This report examines various definitions, discusses middle class values and aspirations, and presents hypothetical budgets showing how these aspirations might be achieved with different incomes. Finally, we consider whether or not it is harder to live a middle class lifestyle today than it was twenty years ago.

Income levels alone do not define the middle class. Many very high and very low income persons report themselves as middle class. Social scientists have explained this by defining “middle class” as a combination of values, expectations, and aspirations, as well as income levels. Middle class families and those aspiring to be part of the middle class want economic stability, a home and a secure retirement. They want to protect their children’s health and send them to college. They also want to own cars and take family vacations. However, aspirations alone are not enough; middle class families know that to achieve these goals they must work hard and save.

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Published by: wmartin46 on Sep 19, 2013
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05/16/2014

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MIDDLE CLASSIN AMERICA
Prepared by theU. S. Department Of CommerceEconomics and Statistics Administrationfor theOffice of the Vice President of the United StatesMiddle Class Task Force
January 2010

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