What Is Upper Middle Class?


Quick Answer

"Upper middle class" is a term used to describe a socioeconomic class. There is no single fixed definition of what the term means, but it is generally used to describe the highest levels of salaried workers and their families, while remaining underneath the upper class.

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What Is Upper Middle Class?
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Full Answer

The United States Federal Reserve defines the upper middle class as households with an income between $75,000 and $99,999, but these numbers are not used universally. President Obama has stated that he considers the cut-off point to be considered wealthy to be an annual income of $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples. By extension, workers making salaries slightly lower than that would fall into the upper middle class.

A distinction commonly made between the wealthy and the upper middle class is that the upper middle class still relies on employment to make their living. Their salaries are higher than other workers, but they are still in a position where they cannot afford not to work for someone else or to not work directly at running their own small businesses. Some examples of professions that are commonly considered upper middle class are doctors, lawyers and high-level managerial and executive positions. Aside from having high incomes, these professions are often distinguished by requiring advanced degrees and having a greater level of autonomy in the work.

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