Report

Middle Class in the World -13% of people Pew Research Center finds

Capture d’écran 2015-07-10 à 07.40.52This study divides the population in each country into five groups based on a family’s daily per capita consumption or income. The five groups are labeled poor, low income, middle income, upper-middle income, and high income. Of the four thresholds that separate these different income groups, two are especially important to keep in mind. The first is $2, the minimum daily per capita income that must be exceeded to exit poverty. The second is $10, the threshold that must be crossed to attain middle-income status. The thresholds are expressed in 2011 prices and 2011 purchasing power parities.

A middle-income threshold of $10 follows a practice that is gaining acceptance among economists. The same, or virtually the same, threshold has been applied by the World Bank (2007, 2015), researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Kharas, 2010), the development community (Birdsall, 2010; Birdsall, Lustig and Meyer, 2013, and Dadush and Shaw, 2011) and the private sector (Court and Narasimhan, 2010). There is growing consensus that the $10 threshold, which is five times the poverty line used in this study, is associated with economic security and “insulates” people from falling back into poverty.

Middle Income or Middle Class

The terms “middle income” and “middle class” are often used interchangeably. This is especially true among economists who typically define the middle class in terms of income or consumption. But being middle class can connote more than income, be it a college education, white-collar work, economic security, owning a home, or having certain social and political values. Class could also be a state of mind, that is, it could be a matter of self-identification. The interplay among these many factors is examined in studies by Hout (2007) and Savage et al. (2013), among others.

This report uses income or consumption (depending on how data have been collected for a country) to group people. For that reason, the term “middle income” is used more often than not. However, “middle class” is also used, either to describe the overarching issue or to refer to work by other researchers.

Capture d’écran 2015-07-10 à 07.41.08

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  World Population by Income | Pew Research Center.

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