Lower middle class
In developed nations across the world, the lower middle class is a sub-division of the greater middle class. Universally the term refers to the group of middle class households or individuals who have not attained the status of the upper middle class
Upper middle class
The upper middle class is a sociological concept referring to the social group constituted by higher-status members of the middle class. This is in contrast to the term "lower middle class", which is used for the group at the opposite end of the middle class stratum, and to the broader term "middle...

 associated with the higher realms of the middle class, hence the name.

United States

In American society, the middle class
American middle class
The American middle class is a social class in the United States. While the concept is typically ambiguous in popular opinion and common language use, contemporary social scientists have put forward several, more or less congruent, theories on the American middle class...

 may be divided into two or three sub-groups. When divided into two parts, the lower middle class, also sometimes simply referred to as "middle class", consists of roughly one third of households, roughly twice as large as the upper middle class. Common occupation fields are semi-professionals, such as lower-level managers or school teachers, small business owners and skilled craftsmen. These individuals commonly have some college education
Educational attainment in the United States
The educational attainment of the U.S. population is similar to that of many other industrialized countries with the vast majority of the population having completed secondary education and a rising number of college graduates that outnumber high school dropouts. As a whole, the population of the...

 or perhaps a Bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 and earn a comfortable living
Income in the United States
Income in the United States is measured by the United States Department of Commerce either by household or individual. The differences between household and personal income is considerable since 42% of households, the majority of those in the top two quintiles with incomes exceeding $57,658, now...

. Already among the largest social classes, rivaled only by the working class, the American lower middle class is diverse and growing.

Though, not common in sociological models, the middle class may be divided into three sections in vernacular language usage. In this system the term lower middle class relates to the demographic referred to as working class in most sociological models. Yet, some class models, such as those by sociologist Leonard Beeghley
Leonard Beeghley
Leonard Beeghley is Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of Florida since 1975. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Riverside in 1975 and has since published seven books over the course of his career...

 suggest the middle class to be one cohesive socio-economic demographic, including the demographics otherwise referred to as lower, simply middle or upper middle class in one group comprising about 45% of households.

Social class in the US at a glance

Usage in popular culture

The lower-middle class is frequently portrayed in television and film. Notable examples include Roseanne
Roseanne (TV series)
Roseanne is an American sitcom broadcast on ABC from October 18, 1988 to May 20, 1997. Starring Roseanne Barr, the show revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working class family...

, Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer for the Fox Network. The series was first broadcast on January 9, 2000, and ended its six-and-a-half-year run on May 14, 2006, after seven seasons and 151 episodes...

, 2point4 children
2point4 children
2point4 Children is a 1990s British sitcom that was created and written by Andrew Marshall. It follows the lives of the Porter family; an average family that is persistently faced with surreal situations and sheer bad luck....

, The Middle
The Middle (TV series)
The Middle is an American situation comedy television series that premiered on ABC on September 30, 2009. The show features Frances "Frankie" Heck , a working-class, Midwestern woman married to Mike Heck who resides in the small fictional town of Orson, Indiana. They are the parents of three...

, and Family Matters and the TV show Veronica Mars.
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