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


Middle Income Households

Middle income Americans earn two-thirds to double the national median income, which is a range of about $42,000 to $125,000 for a household of three people.

  • One person: Minimum of $24,042
  • Two people: Minimum of $34,000
  • Three people: Minimum of $41,641
  • Four people: Minimum of $48,083
  • Five people: Minimum of $53,759

The bad news, no matter how much you make, is that the median income of all U.S. households decreased significantly from 1999 to 2014. This wasn’t just in one bracket, either. Though some income levels were hit harder than others, the decrease happened across the lower, middle and upper classes.

Getty Images | Stephen Chernin

According to Pew, “the median income of U.S. households in 2014 stood at 8% less than in 1999, a reminder that the economy has yet to fully recover from the effects of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.”

Overall, the middle class is shrinking, too. Pew found that the share of U.S. adults living in middle-income households fell from 55 percent in 2000 to 51 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, the share of adults in low-income households rose from 28 to 29 percent. At the high end, the share in upper-income households grew from 17 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2014.

RELATED: This map shows how much you have to earn to afford rent in every state

If you’re curious about where you fall, take a look at the Pew Research Center Class Calculator. You can fill in your income, hometown and household size and see how you compare to others with your demographic profile across the U.S.

About the Author
Natalie Southwick