A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Defining the ‘Middle Class’

Q: Is there a standard, accepted definition of what constitutes the "middle class"?
A: No, there isn’t. "Middle class" means different things to different people – and politicians.

Census Says Income is Down, but Some Republicans Claim it’s Up

In September the Census Bureau issued its annual figures on income and poverty, and to nobody’s surprise poverty rose and U.S. median income went down in 2002. On the same day, however, the Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee issued a news release claiming that after-tax income went up – and citing Census figures.