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57% of Working Americans Say They're Middle Class, Lowest Level in Two Years

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One-in-five working Americans continue to classify themselves as poor, while the number of those who consider themselves middle class has fallen to a two-year low.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of working Adults shows that most (57%) still would describe themselves as middle class. Twenty percent (20%) view themselves as poor, while another 18% say they are upper middle class. Just two percent (2%) consider themselves wealthy. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Since April 2009, the number of adults classifying themselves as the working poor has ranged from a low of nine percent (9%) to a high of 22%. In May, 20% said they were working poor, while 61% described themselves as middle class. Sixty-eight percent (68%) regarded themselves as middle class in November 2009.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of adults expect to earn more money a year from today, down two points from May, but only 12% expect to make less money. Nearly half (47%) believe they will be earning about the same amount of money in one year’s time, up nine points from May and also the highest level measured in over two years.

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 The survey of 596 Employed Adults was conducted on July 5-6, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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