Regardless of whether we admit it, we’re all a bit curious (and maybe competitive) about how we stack up economically. Are you really middle class? If so, where do you stand within that group?In a 2022 Gallup poll, 38% of Americans identified themselves as “middle class,” 14% as “upper-middle class” and only 2% as “upper class.” Almost half of Americans as a whole believe they’re “working class” (35%) or “lower class” (11%).Don’t miss

Respondents to the Gallup poll were not provided with definitions of these social classes, but typically they are divided by income or net worth.The U.S. Census Bureau, splits income data into quintiles, which are commonly labeled as different social classes. For the purposes of this article, those with an income in the bottom 20 percentile will be identified as lower class, followed by lower-middle class (up to 40th percentile), middle class (up to 60th percentile), upper-middle class (up to 80th percentile) with the remainder considered upper class.Where does your household rank?Where you rank by incomeAccording to the Census Bureau’s Income in the United States: 2022 report, the median household income is $74,580 (a 2.3% decline from 2021), while household income levels for each class level are as follows:

  • Lower class: less than or equal to $30,000Lower-middle class: $30,001 – $58,020Middle class: $58,021 – $94,000Upper-middle class: $94,001 – $153,000Upper class: greater than $153,000

Where you rank by net worthSome finance experts prefer to view classes in terms of net worth because they believe it accounts for people’s financial habits. If you have a high income but spend much of what you make, you may not have much to show for it. Based on U.S. census data from 2021, here’s the median net worth of each class:

  • Lower class: $12,000Lower-middle class: $61,260Middle class: $145,200Upper-middle class: $269,100Upper class: $805,400

Read more: Don’t miss out: Jeff Bezos reveals the secret to prime real estate profits — say goodbye to landlord headachesHow to dig deeperTo get a more granular look at how you stack up, you can use the Pew Research Center’s American income calculator, which adjusts for the cost of living based on your location and size of your household. It can also determine where you rank in relation to other Americans of the same age, race or ethnicity and who have the same level of education and marital status. While the data is from 2018, it can still provide interesting insights.Money isn’t everythingAt least one definition of the middle class doesn’t rely on either income or net worth. A 2010 report prepared by the U. S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration for the Middle Class Task Force defines the middle class “by their aspirations more than their income.” It identifies these as “home ownership, a car, college education for their children, health and retirement security and occasional family vacations.”You can move upIf your aspirations remain out of reach or you’re merely dissatisfied with your current class level, don’t despair: you can improve your economic standing. Develop good financial habits and increase income when possible — and save the difference. And if you’re young, time is on your side to build your income and savings. Just practice patience and persistence.What to read next

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.