Difference between Upper and Lower Middle Class

Key Difference: The middle class is a socioeconomic group that is further divided into Lower Middle Class and Upper Middle Class. The lower middle class is between the lower class and the upper middle class, which means that the lower middle class group has a higher income than the lower class, but a lower income than the upper middle class.

For economics and statistics, the population is often categorized into socio-economic groups based on their income. The actual cut offs differ in every region and economy. These groups are divided as: lower class, middle class, and upper class. However, majority of the people fall into middle class. The middle class is further divided into Lower Middle Class and Upper Middle Class. The hierarchy is as follows: lower class – lower middle class – upper middle class – upper class.

The lower middle class is a socioeconomic group between the lower class and the upper middle class, which means that the lower middle class group has a higher income than the lower class, but a lower income than the upper middle class. The upper middle class, in turn earns more than the lower middle class but less than the upper class.

The upper middle class if often well educated, they have at least a Bachelor’s degree, if not a Masters or more. They are often working professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, engineer’s, etc. They can also be corporate employees in upper management. They earn enough to live comfortably and enjoy most luxuries of life, and still have enough left over for savings, investments, and retirement funds.

The lower middle class earns less than the upper middle class. They earn enough to cover their expenses. And they may or may not have enough to put in savings or towards retirement. They may also be able to save up for a vacation or other luxuries. They are often semi-professionals, such as lower-level managers, small business owners and skilled craftsmen. Many have at least a secondary schooling; however, they may or may not have a college education.

The categorization between the classes is often difficult because there are no official guidelines to adhere to. The categorization is strictly on the basis of income, which means that a well educated professional can still be considered lower class if he is not earning enough. The situation is further complicated by the fact that a person can change the groups at various times in his/her life, as and when their income fluctuates.

Comparison between Upper and Lower Middle Class:

 

Upper Middle Class

Lower Middle Class

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

The social group between the upper and the middle class made up of well-paid professionals, managers, and their families.

The social group between the working class and the middle class.

Money

Earns more than the lower middle class but less than the upper class.

Has a higher income than the lower class, but a lower income than the upper middle class.

Lifestyle

Comfortable, can usually afford nearly all types of luxuries.

Comfortable, have some luxuries but not too many.

Education

Usually higher education; college is guaranteed, post graduation likely.

At least secondary school, perhaps college.

Jobs

White collar professionals such as lawyers, physicians, psychologists, certified public accountants, pharmacists, optometrists, dentists, engineers, professors, architects, school principals, urban planners, civil service executives and civilian contractors.

Semi-professionals, such as lower-level managers, small business owners and skilled craftsmen.

Image Courtesy: thebreakthrough.org, quazoo.com

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