This is how much you need to earn to be considered ‘upper class’


Do you earn enough to be considered upper class? The cutoff might be lower than you think, according to new research from the Pew Research Group.

According to Pew, “upper class” refers to adults whose annual household income is more than double the national median income ($55,775 in 2016), after adjusting income for household size. This makes basic sense—smaller households don’t need to earn as much as big ones to maintain the same lifestyle.

Getty Images | Matt Cardy

Upper Income Households

So exactly how much do you need to earn to check that “upper class” box? CNBC broke the math down by household size:

  • One person: Minimum of $72,126
  • Two people: Minimum of $102,001
  • Three people: Minimum of $124,925
  • Four people: Minimum of $144,251
  • Five people: Minimum of $161,277

Obviously, socioeconomic class isn’t measured based solely on income. Other factors like net worth, education and occupation are also worth consideration, but household income is a good starting point.

Getty Images | Antony Jones

OK, so you’re not considered “upper class.” Maybe middle class then?

Pew also spelled out how much you need to earn to be considered middle income depending on the size of your household.

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Natalie Southwick


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