What Income Is Considered Middle Class?

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Based on U.S. Census data collated for 2012, Robert Reich has defined being middle class as earning around $25,500 to $76,500 in income, according to U.S. News and World Report. Reich was the Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997, and, as of 2014, he taught public policy at the University of California-Berkeley. There is not a single definition of what constitutes a middle class income.

Reich's formula is to establish the middle class income bracket as 50 percent less to 50 percent more of the median income in the United States. In 2012, the median income was $51,017, which is how Reich derived the middle class bracket. Another professor of economics, Aaron Pacitti of Siena College, calls the actual middle class $39,764 to $64,582, distinguishing this category from the upper- and lower-middle classes.