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Determining one's Class: NY Times Interactive

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html.../index_01.html

Here is something interesting. There is a nice interactive / graphic thing that helps one determine which class one falls in. It is divided into 1) Occupation 2) Education 3) Income and 4) Wealth. Quite interesting, at least in finding out what constitutes Top fifth, upper middle, middle, lower middle and bottom fifth because my preconceptions about class was a bit different. I think you may need to register for the New York Times to view it but it is free.
post #2 of 26
I fit in the upper middle class which I find interesting. I really have never thought about what class I was in. I don't really know what upper middle class means. And I think my income is relative. I think it also depend where you live. What I make may be alot in some places but here in the metropolitian Washington DC area it doesn't go very far. And I am still a farm girl at heart and the words "upper middle class" just seems strange to me.
post #3 of 26
It put me in the "upper middle class" too - which I also find strange for a girl from West Virginia.
post #4 of 26
I'm solidly in the middle-class. That's all relative, though. My income wouldn't keep me in house and home, in some cities.

Tucson's median income is a shade over $12,000 per year and I make more than twice that. Fortunately, housing prices, taxes, goods and services are low, too.

If I factor in Bill's income, we are upper-middle class. We are comfortably housed, well-fed, reasonably healthy and have a bit of disposable income. My car was puchased new, eight months ago. Bill drives a 7-year-old pickup, because he WANTS to (he kept the last one for 14 years). All in all, for a couple of baby boomers, we're sitting pretty well.
post #5 of 26
Okay, I got put into the "upper middle class" category, which makes me wonder. Does that only apply to the country I grew up in (the U.S.), or to Europe, where I now live? The test really doesn't take your lifestyle into account; I definitely don't lead an "upper middle class" life.
post #6 of 26
I found this fascinating. No where, and believe me I looked, could I find small business owner, or even just the word "owner" or sole proprietor under occupation. The results for me were ludicrous, trust me, it isn't the life I'm leading!
post #7 of 26
Interesting...two of my bars were in top fifth, two were in lower middle. I got 62nd percentile on average.
post #8 of 26
Odd way of figuring "class".
I ended up in the middle. What really sucks is that my education is in the top 5th, but my income is in the bottom 5th.... Boo to that. Although when I figure in my BF's income we come out a little better.
As for the "mobility" section....
Why is it that so many people in America still cling to the Horatio Alger idea that they can start out dirt poor and strike it rich, and why are our leaders still throwing the idea at us even though very few of them aren't from "old money"?
post #9 of 26
That is very interesting. Three of my bars are in the top 5th and the last one is in the 4th. I averaged in the 87th percentile.

If I'm so "rich" how come I'm still working, have a garden in the backyard for food, go fishing and hunting for meat and am clipping coupons ?
post #10 of 26
Oops....I accidentally voted (I guessed "lower middle") before actually doing the poll Turns out, I'm middle-class all the way. That was a welcome surprise
post #11 of 26
I'm middle, no surprise there, but a bachelors degree is upper 10 percent? What the...?
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe'n'MissKitty
Why is it that so many people in America still cling to the Horatio Alger idea that they can start out dirt poor and strike it rich,
I was surprised to read this..it is not my family (on either side) nor my dh's family's experience that one is stuck at any level. Not every member has made the transition, but the experience is that...one can go from little to comfortable/very comfortable/well off, with hard work.

I do believe in this possibility, I'd never have started two businesses if I did not.
post #13 of 26
I'm in the bottom fifth for everything except education- since I have a BSW. Interesting test.
post #14 of 26
i was looking for my husbands profession, which is the military, i didnt see it, so i just put registered nurse, which is the level i am at in school right now.... it put us into the upper-middle class...

if i choose physicians/surgeon, which is what i am actually going to school for, we are in the top fifth

i agree with everyone else... right now,especially since we moved to California, i feel like we are living in poverty almost...

when we lived in oklahoma/texas it wasnt near so bad... just an example of the difference in cost of living, and we dont even live in a big city.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
That is very interesting. Three of my bars are in the top 5th and the last one is in the 4th. I averaged in the 87th percentile.

If I'm so "rich" how come I'm still working, have a garden in the backyard for food, go fishing and hunting for meat and am clipping coupons ?
Because you live in Cali4n-I-A, notoriously one of the most expensive of the 50. hehe
It's all relative to the cost of living in your area. I live okay on my salary in WV, but I could make the same next door in VA and be struggling.
post #16 of 26
Well I'm on average 63%. So I'd say I'm in the middle class however being young and just out of school I'd expect that although it does crack me up that I'm in the 91% in education just because I have a bachelor's degree. Hopefully someday I'll actually feel like I'm living the middle class life style like maybe having some money to spend after bills and living expenses.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayKittenLove
Hopefully someday I'll actually feel like I'm living the middle class life style like maybe having some money to spend after bills and living expenses.
Me too.
post #18 of 26
ok, i can't figure out where i am, because i'm all over! the occupation is upper middle, the education is top fifth, the income is lower middle, & the wealth is middle. any suggestions as to where i should place myself?
post #19 of 26
I am dead middle 49% ... I think it is very funny ... cause I barely make ends meet... Okay so my animals get everything they need/want and then I get
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I'm middle, no surprise there, but a bachelors degree is upper 10 percent? What the...?
I took it pretending I had already graduated with my masters (2 more years!) and it said i was in the 97% percentile. America must not have as many educated people as I thought.
post #21 of 26
65th percentile...my wealth (or lack there of it!) and my job as a graphic designer actually brought me down!

Occupation - 46th
Educ - 91st
Income - 69th
Wealth - 55th

Cost of living is too much here!!!
post #22 of 26
This is such a dippy matrix - and not necessarily in a bad way, but life has a way of dealing you cards and circumstances that, on the surface, dictate way too much of what "class perception" people may or may not have of you.
For instance, my father was a teacher when I was a little girl and we had low income/lots of kids but we never felt poor and we were scolded when we did anything slovenly or spoke incorrectly. My father wanted us to "be of good class and character!" We had a fairly wordly upbringing, mostly gleaned from books and the occasional eccentric Dad brought home from the college for dinner. I have two degrees, I work in a high-profile frou-frou job and both Eric's and my income puts us higher up the food chain than we really are - BUT because Seattle is so damn expensive, it's very, very hard to get ahead here. So we rent our house, we can't afford to buy. <crash!> - that was the sound of me falling to a lower rung on the ladder. Also, I was married a long time ago and lost my husband in an accident - but inherited all the debt. <double crash!> - now I'm even further down the food chain according to this matrix as my net worth is not where it should because I've had to pay off $305,000 in debt myself.

But it was fun to do and just underscores what values people have that make up these things!
post #23 of 26
Hello? Hello? Is there anybody else down here?
Am I all alone in the bottom 5th or am I the only one who did not take this seriously?
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
Hello? Hello? Is there anybody else down here?
Am I all alone in the bottom 5th or am I the only one who did not take this seriously?
Well, I'm close...lower middle. IMO, character is more important than class anyways. Besides, some of the best educated, best paid, weathiest people with great jobs aren't happy. Some of them don't even have cats!
post #25 of 26
Right On!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
Well, I'm close...lower middle. IMO, character is more important than class anyways. Besides, some of the best educated, best paid, weathiest people with great jobs aren't happy. Some of them don't even have cats!
post #26 of 26
I was in the 41st percentile. Between Lower Middle and Middle class. My income was in the bottom fifth while my occupation was in upper middle! HA! That certainly doesn't match up!!!
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