- The six classes that comprise the American society are the upper class, the upper-middle class, the middle class, the lower middle class, the working class, and the lower class.
- The largest social class in the United States is the lower middle class.
- It is believed that one-third of the households in the United States are included in the lower-middle class. Not only that, but this class is believed to be constantly growing.
- This class can be found in all developed nations and is the largest one in the majority of them.
It is not easy to determine what social classes there are in the United States or any other country for that matter. There are many different ways we can use to divide society into classes, but the most common one is the six classes method. Using that, the six classes that comprise the American society are the upper class, the upper-middle class, the middle class, the lower middle class, the working class, and the lower class.
Determining the actual size of each class is almost impossible because people fluctuate between classes constantly. We can easily determine that the smallest class is the upper class, but which one is the largest? According to most experts, the largest social class in the United States is the lower middle class.
The Three Middle Classes
The lower middle class is a subdivision of the middle class, which is most often divided into three groups. The middle class itself would be the single largest social class, but the method of using six social classes is more exact. If we used the classical sociological model, the lower middle class would relate to the working class of that model. Still, when people mention the middle class, they often refer to the lower middle class, the one we will be talking about in this article.
The people that fall into the lower middle class have a lower degree of education and decent salaries. Some of them might not have finished college, but they earn enough money to live a complacent life. Their socioeconomic status is below the upper-middle class, but the lines are actually blurrier than it seems. They can also fall in the lower classes more easily. People in this class work jobs that are quite common so others can easily replace them. In a way, their lives are controlled by the upper classes.
It is believed that one-third of the households in the United States are included in the lower-middle class. Not only that, but this class is believed to be constantly growing. The people in this class have white-collar jobs, such as school teachers and nurses. They are mostly college-educated, definitely beyond secondary school, and most of them have a bachelor’s degree. They perform professional or administrative work quite often and work for a salary.
The Largest Class
This class can be found in all developed nations and is the largest one in the majority of them. The people in this class have stable jobs but do not hold high positions; they do not have the necessary education for it. This also means they are not able to attain the prestige and income of the upper classes. Even though the upper-middle class and the lower-middle class both fall into the category of middle classes, there are large differences between the two. The upper-middle-class allows for a much more comfortable life, and the people in it hold more privilege than those in the lower-middle class.
People in the lower middle class usually have relatively comfortable salaries that suit their daily needs. However, their earnings are still placed beneath the top third of incomes in the United States. Their yearly earnings are believed to be between $32,500 to $60,000. However, if we look at the households, most have two main earners who can almost double the yearly earnings.
As far as education goes, a bit under 30% of the people in this class has a bachelor’s degree, which explains why they can earn enough money to lead decent lives. Still, many argue that what they earn is less than they deserve, considering the work they do. This is especially true for teachers.