Definition of Middle Class

What does the term "middle class" mean? What is meant by the term "middle class"?

The middle class, as you can probably guess, are those people who fall between the "lower" and "upper" classes.

The "lower class" is generally thought to consist of people who work but don't make much money, and people who depend on government assistance to make ends meet. The "upper class", on the other hand, is thought to consist of the people at the other end of the spectrum who have a high standard of living, usually thanks to high household income or the passing on of money from previous generations.

Definition of Middle Class - Financial Dictionary - EconomicsThe "middle class" is thought to encompass up to 2/3rds of all American households. For this reason, politicians will go to great lengths to appeal to "middle class" voters.

"Middle class" households are usually comfortable and making ends meet, but not rich. Middle class households usually have at least one head of the household who is college educated. Middle class households can consist of tradespeople, office workers, teachers, small business owners, etc.

Middle class households will usually have a mortgage on their homes, own one or two vehicles, take one or two vacations a year, etc. Middle class households need to actively save to put their kids through school, as well as save for their retirements.


Many people say that the "middle class" in the United States has been shrinking over the past decade or so, and that the country is actively being divided into the "haves" and the "have-nots".

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