HOME

TheInfoList




The middle class is a
class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytical concept used differently f ...
of people in the middle of a
social hierarchy Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as Object (philosophy), objects, ev ...
. Its usage has often been vague whether defined in terms of
occupation Occupation commonly refers to: *Occupation or job, one's role in society, often a regular activity performed for payment *Occupation (protest) As an act of protest, occupation is a strategy often used by social movements and other forms of collec ...

occupation
, income, education or
social status Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to hold. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honour Honour ( British English) or honor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng ...
. The definition by any author is often chosen for political connotations. Modern social theorists—and especially economists—have defined and re-defined the term "middle class" in order to serve their particular social or political ends. Within
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
, ''middle-class'' initially referred to the ''
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
''; as distinct from the nobility, then with the further differentiation of classes as capitalist societies developed to the degree where the 'capitalist' became the new ruling class, the term came instead to be synonymous with ''
petite bourgeoisie ''Petite bourgeoisie'' (, literally small bourgeoisie), also ''petty bourgeoisie'', is a French term (sometimes derogatory) referring to a social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Polit ...
''. The common measures of what constitutes middle class vary significantly among cultures. On the one hand, the term can be viewed primarily in terms of
socioeconomic status Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic access to resources and social position in relation to others. When analyzing a family's ...
. One of the narrowest definitions limits it to those in the middle fifth of the nation's income ladder. A wider characterization includes everyone but the poorest 20% and the wealthiest 20%. Some theories like "Paradox of Interest", use
decileIn descriptive statistics A descriptive statistic (in the count noun sense) is a summary statistic that quantitatively describes or summarizes features from a collection of information, while descriptive statistics (in the mass noun sense) is the pr ...
groups and
wealth distribution The distribution of wealth is a comparison of the wealth of various members or groups in a society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group shar ...

wealth distribution
data to determine the size and wealth share of the middle class. In modern
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...
vernacular, the term ''middle class'' is most often used as a self-description by those persons whom academics and
Marxists Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies socia ...
would otherwise identify as the working class, which are below both the upper class and the true middle class, but above those in
poverty Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expresse ...

poverty
. This leads to considerable ambiguity over the meaning of the term ''middle class'' in American usage. Sociologists such as Dennis Gilbert and Joseph Kahl see this American self-described middle class (working class) as the most populous class in the United States. In 1977
Barbara Ehrenreich Barbara Ehrenreich (, ; born August 26, 1941) is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade" and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by '' The New Yorker''. During the 1980s and early 1990s she w ...
and her then husband John defined a new class in the United States as "salaried mental workers who do not own the means of production and whose major function in the social division of labor ...
s
s
nbsp;... the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations;" the Ehrenreichs named this group the "professional-managerial class". There has been significant global middle-class growth over time. In February 2009, ''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is an international weekly newspaper A weekly newspaper is a general-news or current affairsCurrent affairs may refer to: Media * Current Affairs (magazine), ''Current Affairs'' (magazine), a bimonthly magazine of cult ...
'' asserted that over half of the world's population belonged to the middle class, as a result of rapid growth in emerging countries. It characterized the middle class as having a reasonable amount of
discretionary income :''country lists in disposable household and per capita income Household income is a measure of the combined incomes of all people sharing a particular household or place of residence. It includes every form of income, e.g., salaries and wages, ...
, so that they do not live from hand-to-mouth as the poor do, and defined it as beginning at the point where people have roughly a third of their income left for discretionary spending after paying for basic food and shelter.


History and evolution of the term

The term "middle class" is first attested in James Bradshaw's 1745 pamphlet ''Scheme to prevent running Irish Wools to France.'' Another phrase used in
early modern Europe Early modern Europe, also referred to as the post-medieval period, is the period of European history The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past ...
was "the middling sort". The term "middle class" has had several, sometimes contradictory, meanings.
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
saw the category as an intermediate
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soc ...
between the
nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility has often been an Estates of the realm, estate of the realm that p ...
and the
peasantry A peasant is a pre-industrial Pre-industrial society refers to social attributes and forms of political and cultural organization that were prevalent before the advent of the Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the tra ...
in late-feudalist society. While the nobility owned much of the countryside, and the peasantry worked it, a new ''
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
'' (literally "town-dwellers") arose around mercantile functions in the city. In France, the middle classes helped drive the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
. This "middle class" eventually overthrew the ruling monarchists of feudal society, thus becoming the new ruling class or bourgeoisie in the new capitalist-dominated societies. The modern usage of the term "middle-class", however, dates to the 1913 UK Registrar-General's report, in which the statistician T.H.C. Stevenson identified the middle class as those falling between the
upper-class Upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of people who hold the highest social status, usually are the economic inequality, wealthiest members of class society, and wield the greatest political power. According to this view, the ...
and the working-class. The middle class includes: professionals, managers, and senior civil servants. The chief defining characteristic of membership in the middle-class is control of significant
human capital Human capital is a concept used by human resource professionals to designate personal attributes considered useful in the production process. It encompasses employee knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or someth ...

human capital
while still being under the dominion of the elite upper class, who control much of the financial and legal capital in the world. Within capitalism, "middle-class" initially referred to the ''bourgeoisie''; later, with the further differentiation of classes as capitalist societies developed, the term came to be synonymous with the term ''
petite bourgeoisie ''Petite bourgeoisie'' (, literally small bourgeoisie), also ''petty bourgeoisie'', is a French term (sometimes derogatory) referring to a social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Polit ...
''. The boom-and-bust cycles of capitalist economies result in the periodic (and more or less temporary) impoverisation and
proletarianisation In Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as well as a di ...
of much of the ''petite bourgeois'' world, resulting in their moving back and forth between working-class and petite-bourgeois status. The typical modern definitions of "middle class" tend to ignore the fact that the classical petite-bourgeoisie is and has always been the owner of a small-to medium-sized business whose income is derived almost exclusively from the employment of workers; "middle class" came to refer to the combination of the
labour aristocracyLabor aristocracy or labour aristocracy (also aristocracy of labor) has at least four meanings: (1) as a term with Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better kn ...
,
professionals A professional is a member of a profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a wid ...
, and salaried,
white-collar worker A white-collar worker is a person who performs professional, desk, managerial, or administrative work. White-collar work may be performed in an office or other administrative setting. White-collar workers include job paths related to government ...
s. The size of the middle class depends on how it is defined, whether by education,
wealth Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial asset A financial asset is a non-physical asset whose value is derived from a contractual claim, such as deposit (finance), bank deposits, bond (finance), bonds, and participations in companies' sh ...

wealth
, environment of upbringing,
social network A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations), sets of Dyad (sociology), dyadic ties, and other Social relation, social interactions between actors. The social network perspectiv ...

social network
,
manners Etiquette ( and ; ) is the set of conventional rules of personal behaviour in polite society, usually in the form of an ethical code Ethical codes are adopted by organizations to assist members in understanding the difference between ri ...

manners
or values, etc. These are all related, but are far from deterministically dependent. The following factors are often ascribed in the literature on this topic to a "middle class:" *Achievement of
tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, ...
. *Holding professional qualifications, including
academics An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociolin ...

academics
,
lawyers A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English ...
,
chartered engineer Regulation and licensure in engineering is established by various jurisdictions of the world to encourage public welfare, safety, well-being and other interests of the general public and to define the licensure process through which an engineer bec ...
s,
politicians A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resourc ...
, and
doctors Doctor or The Doctor may refer to: Personal titles * Doctor (title), the holder of an accredited academic degree * A medical practitioner, including: ** Physician ** Surgeon *Other roles ** Doctor of the Church, a title given to those with g ...

doctors
, regardless of leisure or wealth. *Belief in ''
bourgeois Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguist ...

bourgeois
'' values, such as high rates of house ownership,
delayed gratification Delayed gratification, or deferred gratification, is the resistance to the temptation of an immediate pleasure in the hope of obtaining a valuable and long-lasting reward in the long-term. In other words, delayed gratification describes the pro ...
, and jobs that are perceived to be secure. *Lifestyle. In Great Britain, social status has historically been linked less directly to wealth than in the United States, and has also been judged by such characteristics as
accentAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (phonetics), prominence given to a particular syllable in a word, or a word in a phrase ** Pitch accen ...
(
Received Pronunciation Received Pronunciation (often abbreviated as RP) is the accentAccent may refer to: Speech and language * Accent (sociolinguistics), way of pronunciation particular to a speaker or group of speakers * Accent (phonetics), prominence given to ...
and U and non-U English), manners, type of school attended (state or private school), occupation, and the class of a person's family, circle of friends and acquaintances. In the United States, by the end of the twentieth century, more people identified themselves as middle-class than as lower or "working" class (with insignificant numbers identifying themselves as upper-class). The
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
in the UK, which grew out of the organised
labour movement The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings: the trade union movement (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a l ...
and originally drew almost all of its support from the working-class, reinvented itself under
Tony Blair Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. On his resig ...

Tony Blair
in the 1990s as "New Labour", a party competing with the
Conservative Party Conservative Party may refer to: Europe Current *Croatian Conservative Party, *Conservative Party (Czech Republic) *Conservative People's Party (Denmark) *Conservative Party of Georgia *Conservative Party (Norway) *Conservative Party (UK) Histor ...

Conservative Party
for the votes of the middle-class as well as those of the Labour Party's traditional group of voters – the working-class. Around 40% of British people consider themselves to be middle class, and this number has remained relatively stable over the last few decades.


Marxism

Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
defines social classes according to their relationship with the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
. The "middle class" is said to be the class below the
ruling class In sociology, the ruling class of a society is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the ...
and above the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of p ...

proletariat
in the Marxist social schema and is synonymous with the term "petite-" or "petty-bourgeoisie". Marxist writers have used the term in two distinct but related ways.Communist League Britain, Marxism and Class: Some definitions. undated. http://www.mltranslations.org/Britain/Marxclass.htm at §The 'Middle Class' In the first sense, it is used for the bourgeoisie (the urban merchant and professional class) that arose between the
aristocracy Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: A ...
and the proletariat in the waning years of feudalism in the Marxist model. V. I. Lenin stated that the "peasantry ... in Russia constitute eight- or nine-tenths of the petty bourgeoisie". However, in modern developed countries, Marxist writers define the ''petite bourgeoisie'' as primarily comprising (as the name implies) owners of small to medium-sized businesses, who derive their income from the exploitation of wage-laborers (and who are in turn exploited by the "big" bourgeoisie i.e. bankers, owners of large corporate trusts, etc.) as well as the highly educated professional class of doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers, university professors, salaried middle-management of capitalist enterprises of all sizes, etc. – as the "middle class" which stands between the ruling capitalist "owners of the means of production" and the working class (whose income is derived solely from hourly wages). Pioneer 20th century American Marxist theoretician Louis C. Fraina (Lewis Corey) defined the middle class as "the class of independent small enterprisers, owners of productive property from which a livelihood is derived".Lewis Corey, "American Class Relations", ''Marxist Quarterly,'' vol. 1 no. 2 (January–March 1937), p. 141. From Fraina's perspective, this social category included "propertied farmers" but not propertyless
tenant farmer A tenant farmer is one who resides on land owned by a landlord A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less perma ...

tenant farmer
s. Middle class also included salaried managerial and supervisory employees but not "the masses of propertyless, dependent salaried employees. Fraina speculated that the entire category of salaried employees might be adequately described as a "new middle class" in economic terms, although this remained a social grouping in which "most of whose members are a new proletariat."


Professional-managerial class

In 1977
Barbara Ehrenreich Barbara Ehrenreich (, ; born August 26, 1941) is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade" and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by '' The New Yorker''. During the 1980s and early 1990s she w ...
and her then husband John defined a new class in the United States as "salaried mental workers who do not own the means of production and whose major function in the social division of labor ... nbsp;... the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations;" the Ehrenreichs named this group the "professional-managerial class".Stewart Clegg, Paul Boreham, Geoff Dow; This group of middle-class
professional A professional is a member of a profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a wid ...
s is distinguished from other social classes by their training and education (typically business qualifications and university degrees), with example occupations including academics and
teachers A teacher (also called a schoolteacher or formally, an educator) is a person who helps students A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and l ...

teachers
,
social workers Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special kno ...
,
engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of enginee ...

engineer
s,
accountants An accountant is a practitioner of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object o ...

accountants
,
managers Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -iz ...
,
nurses Nursing is a profession within the health care Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''qua ...

nurses
, and middle-level administrators. The Ehrenreichs developed their definition from studies by André Gorz, Serge Mallet, and others, of a "new working class," which, despite education and a perception of themselves as middle class, were part of the working class because they did not own the means of production, and were wage earners paid to produce a piece of capital. The professional-managerial class seeks higher rank status and salary and tend to have incomes above the average for their country.


Recent global growth

It is important to understand that modern definitions of the term "middle class" are often politically motivated and vary according to the exigencies of political purpose which they were conceived to serve in the first place as well as due to the multiplicity of more- or less-scientific methods used to measure and compare "wealth" between modern advanced industrial states (where poverty is relatively low and the distribution of wealth more egalitarian in a relative sense) and in developing countries (where poverty and a profoundly unequal distribution of wealth crush the vast majority of the population). Many of these methods of comparison have been harshly criticised; for example, economist
Thomas Piketty Thomas Piketty (; born 7 May 1971) is a French economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies an ...

Thomas Piketty
, in his book ''
Capital in the Twenty-First Century ''Capital in the Twenty-First Century'' is the ''magnum opus 's ''The Creation of Adam ''The Creation of Adam'' () is a fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid (" ...
'', describes one of the most commonly used comparative measures of wealth across the globe – the
Gini coefficient In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science ...

Gini coefficient
 – as being an example of "synthetic indices ... which mix very different things, such as inequality with respect to labor and capital, so that it is impossible to distinguish clearly among the multiple dimensions of inequality and the various mechanisms at work." In February 2009, ''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is an international weekly newspaper A weekly newspaper is a general-news or current affairsCurrent affairs may refer to: Media * Current Affairs (magazine), ''Current Affairs'' (magazine), a bimonthly magazine of cult ...
'' asserted that over half the world's population now belongs to the middle class, as a result of rapid growth in emerging countries. It characterized the middle class as having a reasonable amount of
discretionary income :''country lists in disposable household and per capita income Household income is a measure of the combined incomes of all people sharing a particular household or place of residence. It includes every form of income, e.g., salaries and wages, ...
, so that they do not live from hand-to-mouth as the poor do, and defined it as beginning at the point where people have roughly a third of their income left for discretionary spending after paying for basic food and shelter. This allows people to buy consumer goods, improve their health care, and provide for their children's education. Most of the emerging middle class consists of people who are middle class by the standards of the developing world but not the developed one, since their money incomes do not match developed country levels, but the percentage of it which is discretionary does. By this definition, the number of middle-class people in Asia exceeded that in the West sometime around 2007 or 2008. ''The Economist'' article pointed out that in many emerging countries, the middle class has not grown incrementally but explosively. The point at which the poor start entering the middle class by the millions is alleged to be the time when poor countries get the maximum benefit from cheap labour through
international trade International trade is the exchange of capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscul ...
, before they price themselves out of world markets for cheap goods. It is also a period of rapid urbanization, when
subsistence farmers Subsistence agriculture occurs when farmers grow food crops to meet the needs of themselves and their families on smallholdings. Subsistence agriculturalists target farm output for survival and for mostly local requirements, with little or no ...
abandon marginal farms to work in factories, resulting in a several-fold increase in their economic
productivity Productivity is the efficiency Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the ability to do th ...
before their wages catch up to international levels. That stage was reached in China some time between 1990 and 2005, when the Chinese "middle class" grew from 15% to 62% of the population and is just being reached in India now. ''The Economist'' predicted that surge across the poverty line should continue for a couple of decades and the global middle class will grow exponentially between now and 2030. Based on the rapid growth, scholars expect the global middle class to be the driving force for sustainable development. This assumption, however, is contested (see below). As the American middle class is estimated by some researchers to comprise approximately 45% of the population, ''The Economist'' article would put the size of the American middle class below the world average. This difference is due to the extreme difference in definitions between ''The Economist'' and many other models. In 2010, a working paper by the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
asserted that 1.8 billion people were now members of the global "middle class". Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report 2014, released in October 2014, estimated that one billion adults belonged to the "middle class," with wealth anywhere between the range of $10,000–$100,000. According to a study carried out by the Pew Research Center, a combined 16% of the world's population in 2011 were "upper-middle income" and "upper income". An April 2019 OECD report said that the millennial generation is being pushed out of the middle class throughout the Western world.


Russia

In 2012, the "middle class" in Russia was estimated as 15% of the whole population. Due to sustainable growth, the pre-crisis level was exceeded. In 2015, research from the Russian Academy of Sciences estimated that around 15% of the Russian population are "firmly middle class", while around another 25% are "on the periphery".


China

Since the beginning of the 21st century, China's middle class has grown by significant margins. According to the
Center for Strategic and International Studies The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a think tank based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. CSIS was founded as the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Georgetown University in 1962. The center cond ...
, by 2013, some 420 million people, or 31%, of the Chinese population qualified as middle class. Based on the World Bank definition of middle class as those having with daily spending between $10 to $50 per day, nearly 40% of the Chinese population were considered middle class as of 2017.


India

Estimates vary widely on the number of middle-class people in India. According to ''The Economist'', 78 million of India's population are considered middle class as of 2017, if defined using the cutoff of those making more than $10 per day, a standard used by the India's National Council of Applied Economic Research. If including those with incomes $2 – $10 per day, the number increases to 604 million. This was termed by researchers as the "new middle class". Measures considered include geography, lifestyle, income, and education. The World Inequality Report in 2018 further concluded that elites (i.e. the top 10%) are accumulating wealth at a greater rate than the middle class, that rather than growing, India's middle class may be shrinking in size.


Africa

According to a 2014 study by Standard Bank economist Simon Freemantle, a total of 15.3 million households in 11 surveyed African nations are middle-class. These include Angola,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
,
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
,
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, Msumbiji; ts, Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-lar ...

Mozambique
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
,
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East Africa, east/central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Ethiopia, to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to th ...

South Sudan
,
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
,
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic ba ...

Uganda
and
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia ( Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" ...

Zambia
. In
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
, a report conducted by the Institute for Race Relations in 2015 estimated that between 10%–20% of South Africans are middle class, based on various criteria. An earlier study estimated that in 2008 21.3% of South Africans were members of the middle class. A study by EIU Canback indicates 90% of Africans fall below an income of $10 a day. The proportion of Africans in the $10–$20 middle class (excluding South Africa), rose from 4.4% to only 6.2% between 2004 and 2014. Over the same period, the proportion of "upper middle" income ($20–$50 a day) went from 1.4% to 2.3%. According to a 2014 study by the German Development Institute, the middle class of
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
rose from 14 million to 31 million people between 1990 and 2010.


Latin America

According to a study by the World Bank, the number of Latin Americans who are middle class rose from 103m to 152m between 2003 and 2009.


See also

*
Lower middle class In developed nation Image:Imf-advanced-un-least-developed-2008.svg, 450px, Classifications by the International Monetary Fund, IMF and the United Nations, UN in 2008.A developed country, industrialized country (or post-industrial country ...
*
Upper middle class In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phyt ...
* African-American middle class *
British class system The social structure of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kin ...
* Lower class *
Occupational prestige Sociologists use the concept of occupational prestige (also known as job prestige) to measure the relative social-class positions people may achieve by practising a given occupation. Occupational prestige results from the consensual rating of a ...
*
Social environment The social environment, social context, sociocultural context or milieu refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture that the individual was educate ...
*
Disenchantment In social science, disenchantment (german: Entzauberung) is the cultural rationalization and devaluation of religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality ...
*
Rational-legal authority Rational-legal authority (also known as rational authority, legal authority, rational domination, legal domination, or bureaucratic authority) is a form of leadership Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses th ...
*
Normalization (sociology) Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as ' normal' and become taken-for-granted or 'natural' in everyday life. In sociological theory, normalization appears in two forms. First, the concept of n ...
*
Iron cage In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytolog ...
*
Habitus (sociology) In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empirical method, empir ...
* Cultural determinism * One-third hypothesis * Middle-class squeeze *
Dominant culture A dominant culture is a cultural practice that is dominant within a particular political, social or economic entity, in which multiple cultures are present. It may refer to a language A language is a structured system of communication used b ...
*
Cultural hegemony In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the dominance of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class In sociology, the ruling class of a society is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and p ...
*
Cultural imperialism Cultural imperialism, also called cultural colonialism, comprises the cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs ...
* The Media Elite Other: * Classlessness *''
The Lonely Crowd ''The Lonely Crowd'' is a 1950 sociology, sociological analysis by David Riesman, Nathan Glazer, and Reuel Denney. Together with ''White Collar: The American Middle Classes'' (1951), written by Riesman's friend and colleague, C. Wright Mills, it is ...
'' * Status paradox of migration * Illustrado *
Producerism Producerism is an ideology which holds that those members of society engaged in the production of tangible wealth are of greater benefit to society than, for example, aristocrats Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excell ...
* Xiaozi *'' Middle Class Millionaire'' * Essex man *
Little Englander In its original meaning during the late 18th and 19th centuries, a "Little Englander" was a member of the Liberal Party Liberal Party is a name for political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete ...
* Worcester woman * Deep England


References


Further reading

* Balzer, Harley D., ed. ''Russia's Missing Middle Class: The Professions in Russian History'' (ME Sharpe, 1996). * * Blackbourn, David, and Richard J. Evans, eds. ''The German Bourgeoisie: Essays on the Social History of the German Middle Class from the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century'' (1991). * Cashell, Brian W
''Who Are the "Middle Class"?''
Report for the Congress, 20 March 2007 * Dejung, Christof, David Motadel, and Jürgen Osterhammel, eds. ''The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire'' (2019) scholarly essays covering major countries and region s in 19th centur
excerpt
als
chapters online
* Jones, Larry Eugene. "'The Dying Middle': Weimar Germany and the Fragmentation of Bourgeois Politics." ''Central European History'' 5.1 (1972): 23–54. * Kocka, Jürgen. "The Middle Classes in Europe," ''Journal of Modern History'' 67#4 (1995): 783–806. doi.org/10.1086/245228
online
* Kocka, Jürgen, and J. Allan Mitchell, eds. ''Bourgeois Society in 19th Century Europe '' (1992) * Lebovics, Herman. ''Social Conservatism and the Middle Class in Germany, 1914–1933'' (Princeton UP, 2015). * López, A. Ricardo, and Barbara Weinstein, eds. ''The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History'' (Duke University Press, 2012) 446 pp. scholarly essays * McKibbin, Ross. ''Classes and Cultures: England 1918–1951'' (2000) pp 44–105. * Mills, C. Wright, ''White Collar: The American Middle Classes'' (1951). * Pilbeam, Pamela. ''The Middle Classes in Europe, 1789–1914: France, Germany, Italy, and Russia'' (1990) * Wells, Jonathan Daniel. "The Southern Middle Class," ''Journal of Southern History,'' Volume: 75#3 2009. pp 651+. * Williams, E. N. "Our Merchants Are Princes": The English Middle Classes In The Eighteenth Century" ''History Today'' (Aug 1962), Vol. 12 Issue 8, pp548–557.


External links

*

*NOW on PBS

Are politicians listening to middle-class families on the edge of economic collapse?
Contains estimates on the size of the middle class in various countriesContains estimates on the size of the middle class in Latin America and other countriesContains Contains estimates on the size of the middle class in Africa, based on various definitions
{{DEFAULTSORT:Middle Class Social classes 1740s neologisms