- Two working parents
- One child in day care
- One child in private school
- A 3-bedroom apartment "near one of America's largest cities - Washington, D.C., or Seattle, or Chicago"
- $500 per month in student loan debt
I find this topic interesting from a personal point of view, because I'm always trying to figure out where exactly in the American class structure I personally belong. I've never been entirely sure whether the term "middle-class" really fits me or not, and I feel like my research on this article has only muddied the waters further. According to some definitions, like Robert Reich's (which defines a household as middle-class if its annual income falls anywhere between $21,433 and $112,262), Brian and I are solidly middle-class. Yet according to other guidelines, like this interactive graphic in the New York Times, our combination of income, wealth, jobs, and education makes us upper-middle-class rather than middle-class. And our lifestyle makes us middle-class in some ways (owning a home, having health insurance, saving for retirement) but not others (no kids, no regular vacations, annual spending below $38,000 per year). So I still can't say definitively whether I belong to the middle class or not—but at least I can explain why I'm not sure.
Anyway, if you're interested in the same question, whether from a personal standpoint or a purely academic one, you can examine the topic from all angles here:
What Is Considered Middle Class in America? – Definition, Income Range & Jobs