Social Classes In The United States
Many social scientists have a belief that it is indeed not very simple to categorize social classes in the USA in cliché terms including rich, middle class or poor. Do you know why? It is a fact that the American society is many times economically and culturally diverse. There are many differences in people’s wealth, education, income or occupation. All these can belong to any social classes. The issue of social classes is controversial with a lot of competing definitions, models and disagreements concerning its existence.


To some sociologist like Dennis Gilbert, Joseph Hickey, James Henslin or William Thompson, many distinct social classes have been suggested. These include an upper or capitalist class comprising of the rich, a class of upper middle individuals who are highly educated and well-paid professionals. There is a lower middle class with people who are semi-professionals. The working class has clerks plus blue collar employees who do work full of routines. Further, a lower class consists of people lying between the working poor and underclass. However, some of the usual standard definitions of each class include;

Upper class

This is used in reference to a wide range of elites in the USA commonly called “the blue-blooded”. It can be further divided to come up with an upper-upper class and lower-upper class. The first group comes from well-established upper-class families. The second group is mainly of people with great wealth. Basing on statistics, about less than five percent of Americans are in the upper class. These are the people who mostly manage corporate America. A significant feature of individuals in this group is inherited privileges. These people do not need to work to maintain their status. Their situation passes on from generation to generation automatically.

Middle Class

The people in this group are mostly individuals with extreme wealth. It is in disregard of differences they might have in culture, income, occupation or education background. To Pew Research Center, one of the timeless issues to take note off when dealing with social classes in the US arose. In early 205, the middle class ceased to be the majority class after more than four decades.

It is also subdivided into the upper middle class and the lower middle class. People who are in the upper middle class are an elite group of professionals including managers. These are highly educated and well paid with significant work autonomy. Those in the lower middle class are semiprofessionals plus salesmen having some college education and usually supervised more closely. It makes up around 47 percent to 49 percent of the total population in the country.

Working class

According to Pew Research Center, the people in this group are those with annual income between 66 percent and 200 percent of the total US household income. A distinct feature in this group is that the workers who belong to this cluster work according to orders received. They do not get rewarded for their brilliant ideas or participate in decision making. Therefore it has blue collar workers while the lower middle class comprises of white collar workers who are not professionals.

Lower class

There are the people who lie at the bottom of the social hierarchy. These makes up about 13 percent of the population in the US. They are mainly service or low-rung workers facing unemployment or unable to work.

The issue of social classes in the USA is marred with a lot of controversies. However, we have managed to give the universal criteria applied when classifying people in the US.

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