Tag: Income classes

Income Classes, Defined

 

I created the table below when I realized that people’s intuition about who was in the American middle class corresponded (roughly) to low $30k to around $100k in annual income and that the logarithm of those numbers happened to be about 4.5 and 5, respectively. To me, this range seems about right for married couples. I then extended the principle to create ranges for the other classes. So, lower class for married couples is between $10^4 ($10,000) and $10^4.5 ($31,623), and upper class is between $10^5 ($100,000) and $10^5.5 ($316,228).

Class single married 1 kid 2 kids 3 kids 4 kids 5 kids
bottom lower $7,071 $10,000 $12,247 $14,142 $15,811 $17,321 $18,708
lower $10,379 $14,678 $17,977 $20,758 $23,208 $25,423 $27,460
top lower $15,234 $21,544 $26,386 $30,468 $34,065 $37,316 $40,306
bottom middle $22,361 $31,623 $38,730 $44,721 $50,000 $54,772 $59,161
middle $32,821 $46,416 $56,848 $65,642 $73,390 $80,395 $86,836
top middle $48,175 $68,129 $83,441 $96,349 $107,722 $118,003 $127,458
bottom upper $70,711 $100,000 $122,474 $141,421 $158,114 $173,205 $187,083
upper $103,789 $146,780 $179,768 $207,578 $232,079 $254,230 $274,600
top upper $152,342 $215,443 $263,863 $304,683 $340,646 $373,159 $403,058
bottom wealthy $223,607 $316,228 $387,298 $447,214 $500,000 $547,723 $591,608

To find the corresponding ranges for households of other sizes, I scaled it by the square root of the number of people (multiply singles bracket by sqrt[household size]) because I’ve heard that’s a good approximation of the additional costs when you add a person.

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