Most Americans consider themselves middle class. This raises the question, what does it mean to be middle class? Income levels alone do not define the middle class. Many very high and very low income persons report themselves as middle class. Social ...
scientists have explained this by defining "middle class" as a combination of values, expectations and aspirations, as well as income levels. Middle class families and those aspiring to be part of the middle class want economic stability, a home and a secure retirement. This book examines various definitions, discusses middle class values and aspirations, and presents hypothetical budgets showing how these aspirations might be achieved with different incomes. Consideration is discussed as to whether or not it is harder to live a middle class lifestyle today that it was twenty years ago.