Are You in the Middle Class?

By SWalla Walla Trends Staff

What exactly is the middle-class? Is there still room for me in a shrinking Middle-Class?

According to Investopedia, the middle-class are “individuals and households who fall between the working class and the upper class within a societal hierarchy.”

This obviously isn’t very helpful.

Brookings Institute deepens the mystery by asking things such as: “Is middle-class status a reflection of economic resources, especially income or wealth?” Brookings then suggests scholars, sociologists, philosophers, and economists will each answer this quite differently.

CNN Business offers a narrow definition of “those who are literally in the middle fifth of the nation's income ladder” and a broad definition of “everyone but the poorest 20% and the wealthiest 20%”.

Ultimately, each of these definitions are correct within their unique set of boundaries. Yet determining whether you are “officially” a member of the middle-class also depends on where you live, your income, and the number of people living in your household. Pew Research has developed a Class Calculator taking these parameters into effect.

Unfortunately, the results of "Step 1" compare to the Spokane-Spokane Valley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) instead of the Walla Walla MSA.. However, the results show during 2016, 29% of adults were in the lower income tier, 56% were in the middle tier, and 14% were in the upper tier. Where do you fit?

“Step 2” of the calculator allows for additional demographic detail to see how you compare to others across the U.S. with a similar profile.

If you learn you are middle-class, no need to excessively worry about it shrinking. The middle-class, even defined slightly different by Investopedia, Brookings, and CNN, it will always include more citizens than the lower- and upper-class.