Americans Raise The Bar On How Much Income Makes You Wealthy
Friday, November 04, 2011
You need to earn a little bit more these days for your fellow Americans to regard you as “wealthy.”
Just 59% of Americans Adults now regard someone who earns $500,000 a year as wealthy, down from 67% who felt that way in March 2009. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds instead that 29% now consider a person with that level of earnings to be “upper income,” compared to 21% in the previous survey. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Similarly, just 30% view someone who makes $250,000 a year to be wealthy, down seven points from 37% two-and-a-half years ago. Unchanged are the 49% who say a person who earns that much annually is upper income. But now 13% believe that someone who earns $250,000 a year is “middle-income,” a view shared by just eight percent (8%) in the 2009 survey.
Tellingly, however, 35% of Democrats think a person who earns $250,000 a year is wealthy, but just 27% of Republicans and those not affiliated with either of the major parties agree.
President Obama and some congressional Democrats have been pushing to end the so-called Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, defining the wealthy as someone who earns $200,000 a year or a couple that earns $250,000 annually.
Only 11% of Americans say they have ever earned or are likely to earn $250,000 a year. Among those adults, 17% consider that income level to be wealthy, while 45% describe it as upper income and 28% as middle income.
(Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 31-November 1, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
Rasmussen Reader subscribers can now get full access to current articles for 1 year for $24.95
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection,
publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events
in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence,
we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions,
sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics
provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day.
If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a
daily update newsletter and various media outlets
across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll
and commentaries are available for free to the general public.
Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year
that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections,
consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers,
Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs
and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.