One definition of middle class income is making in the middle one-fifth of the nation's income ladder. Another definition is making less than the top 20 percent of the country and more than the bottom 20 percent of the country.
Experts define middle class by using many factors, including demographics, wealth and consumption. Demographic characteristics include education, age and race. While these characteristics aren't unstable, they dictate someone's income and wealth better, and the middle class is made up of people who are a mixture of the three characteristics. When wealth is used as a factor, savings and investments are taken into account. Consumption patterns are indicators of how much purchasing power a person has.