Defined by a strictly mathematical model, $250,000 is not middle class income. Median US household income is $50,500; half make more, and half make less. Individuals making more than $250,000 are in the top 1% of all earners in the US. Households making more than $250,000 per year are in the top 2% of US households.
The latest Census data puts median US household income at $50,500. But one out of four US households has less than $25,000 per year in household income. This makes sense when measured against Social Security data that has the median per capita worker income at $26,000 for 2010. This is why two incomes are almost a necessity to get by today.
Households making more than $100,000 per year are in the top 20% of all US households. Thus, making more than $250,000 is nowhere near “middle class” if we follow the rules of math.
As for high-end earners, those making $50,000,000 or more are fewer since the peak in 2007. In 2010 only 81 Americans made it to this level.
Over 53,000,000 Americans receive Social Security, a number that is growing; those at the bottom have increased as a percentage; the middle has been hollowed out; a few more have trickled into the higher income category.
A large number of Americans are in the low income category. The middle class has been squeezed. Those earning higher incomes have also increased, reflecting an economy favouring specialized high-income training (i.e., doctors, engineers, scientist, etc).
In summary: The middle point for household income is $50,000; households making more than $100,000 are in the top 20% of households; the average per capita wage in the US is $26,000.
To read My Budget 360 article: The Math on US Income
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