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    What is considered rich in usa

    what is considered rich in usa

    So, too, do self-identified atheists and agnostics, which may call into question any link between high levels of religious belief and wealth. United States · Average adjusted gross income of the top 5%: $591,187 · The minimum you need to make to be in the top 5%: $219,840 · Average. The U.S. middle class is still incredibly wealthy by international standards First things first: America's rich are really, really rich.

    : What is considered rich in usa

    What is considered rich in usa
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    What is considered rich in usa

    The meaning of the word millionaire is pretty straightforward, right? If you’ve got $1 million www walmart one com the bank, you’re a millionaire. Done. And if you’ve got that much money stashed away, then you’re set for the rest of your life, right?


    Depending on your goals, $1 million might not be enough to put you on Easy Street for life. We all have different dreams for our future, and our definitions of wealth and financial security are going to be different, too. The good news is, you get to define them for yourself. But. . how? We’re glad you asked.

    What Is a Millionaire?

    The most basic definition of millionaire is somebody who has $1 million. But that definition can be misleading. What if a guy has $1 million in cash under his mattress but owes the bank $20 million? Is he still a millionaire? Not really. That’s why we prefer to use the term net-worth millionaire.


    Your money can work harder with fresh eyes and some TLC. Find a SmartVestor Pro.

    Now in order to define net-worth millionaire, we need to first talk about net worth. Here’s a simple way to explain net worth: It’s what you own minus what you owe. If that amount ends up being $1 million or more, you’re a net-worth millionaire. Make sense? Let’s look at an example.

    John and Maria have accumulated $750,000 in mutual funds and savings. Their house is worth $350,000, and they own two vehicles worth $12,000 each. Altogether, their assets total $1,124,000. However, they still owe $150,000 on their home, have $10,000 of credit card debt, and owe $20,000 on their student loans. Their liabilities add up to $180,000.

    To figure out if they’re net-worth millionaires, let’s subtract what they owe from what they own.

    What they own:             $1,124,000

    What they owe:        –    $180,000

    Net worth:                    $944,000

    In this situation, John and Maria would not meet the definition of net-worth millionaire. They’re close, but they haven’t hit that mark yet.

    However, let’s run the numbers again to see what would happen if the couple didn’t have any student loan or credit card debt and they owed $100,000 on their mortgage instead.

    What they own:            $1,124,000

    What they owe:        –    $100,000

    Net worth:                    $1,024,000

    In this situation, John and Maria would be considered net-worth millionaires. And if they got serious about paying off that mortgage—because you never want to take a mortgage with you into retirement—they could invest and save even more.

    Are you a net-worth millionaire? Check out our Net Worth Calculator to find out.

    What Does a Real Millionaire Look Like?

    So we’ve covered what a millionaire is, but what exactly does a real millionaire look like?

    Maybe you’re picturing someone who lives in a big house, drives a nice car, and wears expensive clothes. Maybe they even have a good chunk of money in their retirement account. That person could be a real millionaire, but they also might not be. The mortgage lender could own the house, the bank could own the car, and a credit card could have been used to buy the clothes. People can look like a million bucks, but sometimes they’re often one the nearest capital one bank to me away from losing it all. Folks, that’s not okay! In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster!

    We’d be willing to bet you want you to become a real millionaire—someone who actually has $1 million or more in assets and zero debt weighing them down. 

    If becoming a millionaire seems impossible, we’ve got some good news for you. Our Ramsey research team conducted the largest study ever done on millionaires, and we found that the vast majority of them are ordinary folks just like you and me. In fact, the top three professions of millionaires were accountants, engineers and teachers! Anyone, on any income, can build wealth. You just need the right plan.

    What Does Being a Millionaire Mean Today?

    If you ask 10 people what being a millionaire means, you’ll likely get 10 unique answers. But if you were to ask that question a few generations ago, the response would probably have been a little different. That’s because back in the day, having $1 million in the bank meant you could sleep easy at night. For a lot of people, that number was the target to hit. You would have enough money to enjoy your retirement years without worrying.

    But that was a long what is considered rich in usa ago, and two things are different now: cost of living and the length of retirement. Let’s talk about how those have changed the power of $1 million and the definition of wealth over the years.

    1. Cost of living

    You probably know this, but it’s worth repeating—it costs more to live in 2021 than it did in past decades. For example, $1 million in today’s dollars would have been worth roughly $1.54 million in 2000.(1) Hello, inflation.

    And if the inflation rate stays at about 2.5% for the foreseeable future, $1 million today will be $1.63 million in 2031.(2) That means your nest egg will be worth about $600,000 less in 20 years.

    Now, why are we throwing these numbers at you? Because you need to plan for cost of living to go up as you get older. Depending on what you want to do in retirement, $1 million may not be enough to live out your retirement dreams.

    2. Length of retirement

    From 1950–55, the median age of men retiring was about 67 years, and they were expected to live to age 78.(3) Fast-forward to 2018 and the average retirement age is 62.(4) Plus people are expected to live into their 80s.(5)In the 1950s, you had to prepare for a decade of retirement. Today, you could be retired for 20 years or more. That’s a long time to provide for yourself!

    For many people today, the classic definition of millionaire is no longer the goal to reach. Rather, they’re working toward having enough to feel financially secure. Let us show you what we mean.

    What Does Financial Security Mean to People?

    Now, don’t get us wrong: $1 million is a lot of money. And when you reach that milestone, you should celebrate! But for some people, that amount won’t be enough for them to feel financially secure. Even $10 million might not be enough. That’s because financial security is a personal thing and looks different for each of us.

    For some people, financial security means having a second property to enjoy with friends and family in retirement. Or it might mean the flexibility to work part-time to focus energy on hobbies or travel. Or maybe it means you want to build lots of wealth so you can be outrageously generous.

    At the end of the day, security is knowing there’s enough money in the bank to take care of your needs. It won’t look the same as your friends, your family or your neighbor’s—and that’s okay!

    The X Factor in Reaching Your Definition of Wealth

    Cost of living and the length of your retirement help determine how much money you’ll need in your golden years. But there’s one more factor—and it’s the most important one.


    Do you want to live in a fancy condo on the beach or own a small condo in the suburbs? Do you want to start your own business or explore a new hobby? A person who wants to retire and travel the world will need a lot more in the bank than a person who wants to volunteer in their community and watch their grandkids grow up.

    It’s okay if your number is different than the classic millionaire definition. It’s your personal goal, and only you get to decide what that number is—and only you can make it happen.

    Start Working Toward Your Wealth Goal

    Here at Ramsey, we believe that anyone can build wealth—no matter their background or income. And we believe anyone can become an everyday millionaire. Most millionaires didn’t inherit their money or win the lottery. They got out of debt. They invested every month. They worked with an investing professional. They said no to stupid decisions and didn’t forget their long-term goals. Doing that year after year takes a lot of disciple, but becoming a millionaire is absolutely possible.

    Are you ready to do the work it takes to get there? Then get started today!

    Work With an Investment Professional

    If you want to learn more about hitting that million-dollar mark, it pays to sit down with a pro. SmartVestor is a free program that will connect you with qualified men and women in your area who will help you get on a wealth-building path! Connect with a pro in your area today.

    Want to learn more? Dave's new book, Baby Steps Millionaires, will show you the proven path that millions of Americans have taken to become millionaires--and how you can become one too! Pre-order your copy today to learn how to bust through the barriers preventing you from becoming a millionaire.


    The problem with America’s semi-rich

    It’s easy to place the blame for America’s economic woes on the 0.1 percent. They hoard a disproportionate amount of wealth and are taking an increasingly and unacceptably large part of the country’s economic growth. To quote Bernie Sanders, the “billionaire class” is thriving while many more people are struggling. Or to channel Elizabeth Warren, the top 0.1 percent holds a similar amount of wealth as the bottom 90 percent — a staggering figure.

    There’s a space between that 0.1 percent and the 90 percent that’s often overlooked: the 9.9 percent that resides between them. They’re the group in focus in a new book by philosopher Matthew Stewart (no relation), The 9.9 percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture.

    There are some defining characteristics of today’s American upper-middle class, per Stewart’s telling. They are hyper-focused on getting their kids into great schools and themselves into great jobs, at which they’re willing to work super-long hours. They want to live in great neighborhoods, even if that means keeping others out, and will pay what it takes to ensure their families’ fitness and health. They believe in meritocracy, that they’ve gained their positions in society by talent and hard work. They believe in markets. They’re rich, but they don’t feel like it — they’re always looking at someone else who’s richer.

    They’re also terrified. While this 9.9 percent drives inequality — they want to lock in their positions for themselves and their families — they’re also driven by inequality. They recognize that American society is increasingly one of have-nots, and they’re determined not to be one of them.

    I recently spoke with Stewart about America’s 9.9 percent — the people who are semi-rich but don’t necessarily feel it. We talked about fear, meritocracy, and why the 9.9 percent are so obsessed with nannies. Our conversation, edited for length and clarity, is below:

    So, to start out, you write about the 9.9 percent and a “new aristocracy” in America. Who are these 9.9 percent?

    The statistical side of it is very imprecise. I don’t think of the 9.9 percent as just everybody who has more than a certain amount of money and less than another amount of money. I see it more as a culture, and it’s a culture that tends to lead people into the 9.9 percent of the wealth distribution. It’s a cultural construct that is defined by attitudes toward family, toward identity issues about gender and race, by education and educational status and the idea of what constitutes a good career, which is mainly professional what is considered rich in usa managerial.

    What does the culture look like? How do these people separate themselves out?

    The guiding ideology is essentially that of a meritocracy. The driving idea is that people get where they are in society through a combination of talent and work and study. The main measures of that are educational attainment and material well-being, and anything that we provide to society or other people is on top or on the side of that and is a reflection of our own virtue and not in any way necessary for social functioning or part of a good life. It’s always, essentially, a sacrifice.

    The obvious place to look for it is the whole college admissions game. But I think that’s kind of limited, too. I put a lot of emphasis on the family aspect because I think that’s a place where you really see in operation the attitudes and practices that go into child rearing and family formation.

    You have at least two very different groups emerging in American society. At a high level, you have people who have 80 inch tv stand walmart kids late in life after getting a lot of education, have fewer kids, and invest massively in them. And then you have a large group that is much closer to the traditional style of having kids early and not investing as heavily in them — although many of them, of course, try to emulate the practices of the upper-middle class.

    One of the things you write about in the book is how much this 9.9 percent are willing to invest in their children — in nannies, in schools, in extracurriculars. Where does this pressure come from, this urge people have to make their kids the best?

    I think the driving motivation is fear, and I think that fear is well-grounded. People intuit that in this meritocratic game, the odds are getting increasingly long of succeeding. They work very hard to stack the odds in their kids’ favor, but they know as the odds get longer, they may not succeed.

    That’s coupled with another one of the traits of this class, which is a lack of imagination. The source of the fear is also this inability to imagine a life that doesn’t involve getting these high-status credentials and having a high-status occupation. This life plan looks good, and it certainly looked good in the past when the odds were more sensible. But it’s not a great deal. It’s something that isn’t just harmful to the people who don’t make it, it’s also harmful to the people who get involved and do make it, in some sense.

    In what way is it harmful to the people who do make it to the 9.9 percent and the people who don’t?

    I’m not suggesting it’s equally harmful. The psychological damage to the upper-middle class is kind of trivial compared to the substantive damages other people face. But it is, nonetheless, pretty real.

    I would point to the sociological and psychological evidence that you have significant increases in anxiety-related disorders and other forms of unhappiness even among people who are fairly well off. It’s a trade-off that all or most of them are willing to make. But it’s not a free lunch.

    Well, even if people are on paper wealthy, they often don’t feel wealthy. They’re always looking at someone who has a little bit more than them. How does that play out here?

    That’s almost the defining aspect of life in a high-inequality world. And the important thing is that it affects people all the way up.

    I know people who are in the top 1 percentile of the wealth distribution who just feel incredibly poor and stretched because they’re looking around and see other people who have got just that much more and can do that much better. That insecurity is what runs throughout the system. Just because you’re in the top decile, or 9.9 percent, that doesn’t mean you escape it. In some ways, you’re more subject to that insecurity. That drives people to do crazy things to stay where they are and to avoid falling.

    To what extent does the upper-middle class drive inequality, and to what extent are they driven by inequality?

    Most of this culture of the 9.9 percent is an effect and a consequence of inequality. That said, it’s one of those effects that becomes a contributing cause; it’s part of a feedback loop.

    Most of the root source of inequality is structural, and I think much of it goes to an economy that’s no longer as competitive, where you have oligopolies rising without significant challenge. The balance of power between what we call workers and what we call capitalists is out of whack, and that’s a fundamental source of inequality. Race and gender can also play into inequality.

    That inequality does have these fundamental sources, and once it’s in place, other mechanisms come in to lock it in and to exacerbate it. That’s where the culture of the 9.9 percent comes in. This culture that focuses on meritocracy becomes a way to justify a professional credentialing game where certain categories of workers are able to carve out high rents for themselves. It’s where certainly families — because they have excess resources — are able to over-invest and lock in benefits.

    Those are mostly consequences of rising inequality, but then they feed back into it in obvious ways. They lock people in place, they tend to make it harder for large numbers of people to do well, they exacerbate the irrationalities in society.

    It all sounds very gloomy, but I’m not actually that gloomy. I just think this is the way human societies work. There’s nothing in human nature that says we’re particularly good at forming large, complex societies that make everybody better off. These are sort of the forces of entropy at work in human society. I don’t want to be some sort of misanthrope condemning all of humanity. My point is that we are imperfect at forming reasonable societies, and we need to understand those imperfections if we’re to do better, which we can.

    We’ve talked a lot about the culture of the 9.9 percent so far, but what does that culture mean for everybody else? The people who can’t afford to super credential their kids and send them to Harvard?

    I think the underemphasized concern here is the extent to which the other 90 percent end up buying into this value system to some degree. I’ve been in the child-rearing game, and I see a lot of the madness firsthand — parents freaking out when their child takes a sip of soda out of the refrigerator because they somehow imagine this is really going to make it impossible for them to demonstrate enough virtue to get into the right college. They will curate every experience for their kids — every travel experience, every friendship.

    I mostly see it among members of the upper-middle class who can afford it. But increasingly, the same sets of values and practices are clearly spreading to where people can’t afford it and where it doesn’t make sense. They’re also buying into this idea that kids have to be absolutely optimized, maximized so they can get onto the narrow path that leads to a stable upper-middle-class life, and otherwise it’s Starbucks until the end of time.

    It basically takes away a potential countervailing mechanism. If society were such that you produce this one noxious class but then that gives rise to a reaction of people angry with this class and then acting out, you might have some conflict. Hopefully, it’s not violent but can be mediated through political institutions, but you have at least a mechanism that might lead to a solution. But when the ideology starts to spread, it effectively removes the basis for that conflict, it neutralizes the opposition in a way, and that’s a problem. It means that the system just continues further down the road toward greater instability.

    Why is there such a focus on the nanny? On child rearing?

    Nannies cost a lot, you basically have to hire another full-time individual. And that is not something that most individuals can do. It’s creating a definition of success that will define most people out of the running even before they start.

    [The 9.9 percent] all have internalized this idea that child rearing is meritocratic breeding, and the measure of your success what is considered rich in usa how well you optimize your child as a future member of the meritocracy.

    That means that to the extent that you can’t yourself spend all of your time raising your child, you need to get somebody else to do it. And that person’s task is not child-rearing as it used to be understood, which was feeding them and preventing them from harming themselves. It’s about optimizing them, and there’s no limit to what you can do to optimize them. And so that’s why you’re going to go for a nanny who’s college-educated, preferably with a degree in child psychology, and who’s capable of organizing all sorts of enriching experiences for the child. The logic is pretty ironclad.

    Generally, I don’t think it’s terrible for the kids. It’s just a model of parenting that a) is insane and b) cannot conceivably be emulated by most of the population.

    What’s the role of the idea of meritocracy here?

    I think that meritocracy mostly gets invented after the fact. You have significant inequality, and then you get people reimagining how the economy works. They first make the false assumption that individual merit or individual talent and effort is the main factor in production, and it isn’t. Most human economic activities depend far more importantly on the degree of cooperation that people are able to establish between themselves — cooperation within firms, cooperation between firms in a marketplace, and cooperation in a society at large in terms of having standards of trust, reasonable laws, and so on. All those things are far more important in determining economic output than mere merit or merely allocating rewards to merit.

    People make this false assumption precisely because the inequality is already there, and they’re looking for a justification. Then, they make the further false assumption that the variation in human merit is tremendous — it’s astonishing that some people are literally a million times smarter than other people. You have to qualify a little bit because whenever you criticize meritocracy, someone will come back and say, “Well, people are unequal, some people are smarter.” I have no problem with that, there are differences among people, and those have to be recognized. But it’s completely false to think that those differences are great enough to explain the kind of variation that we see in the economy.

    Nonetheless, all of this rhetoric around meritocracy tends to grow and becomes more convincing precisely as inequality grows. In this respect, I don’t think our meritocracy is all that different from previous aristocracy. The definition of aristocracy is just the rule of the best, and people who have merit are also by definition the best. It’s the same kind of rhetoric. Yes, aristocracy usually relied more on birth, but that’s just a mechanism for identifying the people who are going to be perceived to be the best.

    And we work more in order to be able to have this merit to be perceived to be the best. That’s one of the things that struck me about your book — how many hours the upper-middle class, the managerial class, is working now to maintain their spot.

    There’s no question that workloads have gone up where people are earning the most. There again, there’s this ideology of merit because we think it’s because these people are so incredibly productive. The hour of that corporate lawyer is just worth so much money that of course they’re going to work those extra two hours just to cash in on that. And it’s just so ridiculous, it’s wrong.

    Those people are working hard because they intuit precisely that merit isn’t deciding who’s getting to claim these rents. They’ve got to do something to distinguish themselves from the competition, and the way to do that is just to demonstrate a greater willingness to sacrifice, a greater willingness to submit one’s own identity, and a greater willingness to obey. I see this manic work trend as some of the clearest evidence we have that the meritocracy is out of whack and inequality is far too great.

    So, ultimately, what are some solutions here? How do we tamp down this pressure people feel to hang on so tightly to their status and this sense that there’s a smaller and smaller piece of the pie they’re fighting for, even among those who are quite well-off?

    The solutions mainly have to do with the fundamental sources of inequality, and I don’t think those are that hard to see. Attacking the trusts and the oligopolies, that’s a very clear avenue to pursue; breaking apart some of the professional guilds that strangle the economy. Health care is an obvious place to look on both ends — on how much we spend on it and how access to it is distributed. We need to provide more public support for child care. Another avenue that’s very clear and very difficult to do is housing — we have a tremendous amount of land, and there isn’t really an excuse for the kind of housing affordability issues that we have.

    This isn’t a kind of game where you need a 100 percent solution. You can get pretty far with moves that just reestablish equality on a firmer foundation. This isn’t an unsolvable problem — especially if you’re willing to aim for what’s good and not necessarily what’s perfect.

    The other thing that concerns me in this debate is understanding the role of the 9.9 percent in this. There’s a tendency for members of the meritocratic class to say, “Oh, the problem is that we’re hoarding these spots. We’re hoarding spots at the elite universities and certain professions, and what we need to do is to make sure that we’re more representative in how we let people in.” Well, that’s really wonderful for people to do, but that is not going to be the solution to much of anything. It takes for granted that the hierarchy itself is justified and is economically productive, and it’s just a matter of making sure that everyone has a fair shot of what is considered rich in usa in. Let’s say you have a society in which you have serfs and lords and you say you’re going to have a lottery where one out of every 100 serfs will become a lord every year, and every year or every generation you’ll rotate. That’s not going to make a just society, that’s going to make a perverse society. That’s a false line of solution.

    So what is the role of the 9.9 percent in making this better?

    The key contribution of the 9.9 percent, the culture of the 9.9 percent, is going to be to return to the actual original values of America’s upper-middle class. If you get rid of the false idea of meritocracy that everyone earns what they deserve and substitute the idea that meritocracy means holding power accountable to rational standards of public scrutiny, you have a class that can actively contribute in a positive way toward equality. There’s nothing more dangerous to inequality than a society where people and activities are held up to rational standards. There are some core values in what we call meritocracy — of holding power accountable to reason, of treating people as equals under the law, of making deliberations public, and professionalism. All of those core values are intrinsically good things. What’s happened is that inequality perverts and distorts them. The contribution of the 9.9 percent would be to pursue those.

    I don’t think the answer is to put the 9.9 percent on a boat, send them out to sea, and sink it, though that would probably make for better sales on a book like this. But I do think the issue is basically a class that has allowed itself to delude itself about the sources of its own privilege, and its main contribution would be in opening its eyes and then living and working more in accordance with what I think was the original inspiration of the class.

    What follows when people recognize the actual sources of their privilege is they become a little more humble and they are more willing to help other people, more willing to invest in the future. For me, one of the most distressing statistics is that the richer people get, the less they believe in publicly supported child care. It’s not that they don’t want their taxes to go to pay for child care, it’s that they’ve internalized this idea that everyone can do this, everyone can raise their own child or just hire a nanny. “Let them hire a nanny” is the new “let them eat cake.” It just shows how this incredibly virtuous, super-well-educated class becomes oblivious to the basis of its own existence.


    Class Structure in the U.S.

    American society is stratified into social comenity bank wayfair account based on wealth, income, educational attainment, occupation, and social networks.

    Learning Objectives

    Discuss America’s class structure and its relation to the concept of the “American Dream”

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • There are competing models for thinking about social classes in the U.S. — most Americans recognize a three-tier structure that includes the upper, middle, and lower classes, but variations delineate an upper-middle class and a working class.
    • High income earners likely are substantially educated, have high- status occupations, and maintain powerful social networks.
    • According to the “American Dream,” American society is meritocratic and class is achievement-based. In other words, one’s membership in a particular social class is based on educational and career accomplishments.

    Key Terms

    • social network: The web of a person’s social, family, and business contacts, who provide material and social resources and opportunities.
    • The American Dream: The belief that with hard work, courage, and determination, anyone can prosper and achieve success.
    • Corporate Elite: A class of high-salaried stockholders, such as corporate CEOs, who do not necessarily have inherited privilege but have achieved high status through their careers.

    Most social scientists in the U.S. agree that society is stratified into social classes. Social classes are hierarchical groupings of individuals that are usually based on wealth, educational attainment, occupation, income, or membership in a subculture or social network. Social class in the United States is a controversial issue, having many competing definitions, models, and even disagreements over its very existence. Many Americans recognize a simple three-tier model that includes the upper class, the middle class, and the lower or working class. Some social scientists have proposed more complex models that may include as many as a dozen class levels. Meanwhile, some scholars deny the very existence of discrete social classes in American society. In spite of debate, most social scientists do agree that in the U.S. people are hierarchically ranked in a social class structure.

    Models of U.S. Social Classes

    A team of sociologists recently posited that there are six social classes in America. In this model, the upper class (3% of the population ) is divided into upper-upper class (1% of the U.S. population, earning hundreds of millions to billions per year) and the lower-upper class (2%, earning millions per year). The middle class (40%) is divided into upper-middle class (14%, earning $76,000 or more per year) and the lower-middle class (26%, earning $46,000 to $75,000 per year). The working class (30%) earns $19,000 to $45,000 per year. The lower class (27%) is divided into working poor (13%, earning $9000 to 18,000 per year) and underclass (14%, earning under $9000 per year). This model has gained traction as a tool for thinking about social classes in America, but it does not fully account for variations in status based on non-economic factors, such as education and occupational prestige. This critique is somewhat mitigated by the fact that income is often closely aligned with other indicators of status; for example, those with high incomes likely have substantial education, high status occupations, and powerful social networks.


    United States Social Classes: While social scientists offer competing models of class structure, most agree that society is stratified by occupation, income, and educational attainment.

    A commonly used model for thinking about social classes in the U.S. In the above outline of social class, status clearly depends not only on income, but also occupational prestige and educational attainment.

    Debates over the Existence and Significance of U.S. Social Classes

    According to the “American Dream,” American society is meritocratic and class is achievement-based. In other words, membership in a particular social class is based on educational and career accomplishments. Many sociologists dispute the existence of such class mobility and point to the ways in which social class is inherited. For example, a son or daughter of a wealthy individual may carry a higher status and different cultural connotations than a member of the nouveau riche (“new money”). Likewise, being born into a particular social class may confer advantages or disadvantages that increase the likelihood that an adult will remain in the social class into which they were born.

    Social theorists who dispute the existence of social classes in the U.S. tend to argue that society is stratified along a continuous gradation, rather than into delineated categories. In other words, there is inequality in America, with some people attaining higher status and higher standards of living than others. But there is no clear place to draw a line separating one status group from the next. Whether one ascribes to the view that classes are discrete groups or levels along a continuum, it is important to remember that all social classes in the United States, except the upper class, consist of tens of millions of people. Thus social classes form social groups so large that they feature considerable internal diversity and any statement regarding a given social class’ culture should be seen as a broad generalization.

    The Upper Class

    The American upper class is the highest socioeconomic bracket in the social hierarchy and is defined by its members’ great wealth and power.

    Learning Objectives

    Discuss the most important characteristics of the upper class in the U.S.

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • Members of the upper class accumulate wealth through investments and capital gains, rather than through annual salaries.
    • Households with net worths of $1 million or more may be identified as members of the upper-most socioeconomic demographic, depending on the class model used.
    • Sociologist Leonard Beeghley asserts that all households with a net worth of $1 pay my amazon rewards credit card or more are considered “rich. ” He divides the rich into two sub- groups: the rich and the super-rich.

    Key Terms

    • investment: The expenditure of capital in expectation of deriving income or profit from its use.
    • capital gain: An increase in the value of a capital asset, such as stock or real estate.

    The American upper class refers to the “top layer,” or highest socioeconomic bracket, of society in the United States. This social class is most commonly described as those with great wealth and power, and may also be referred to as the capitalist class, or simply as “the rich. ” People in this class commonly have immense influence in the nation’s political and economic institutions as well as in the media.

    Many politicians, heirs to fortunes, top business executives such as CEOs, successful venture capitalists, and celebrities are considered members of the upper class. Some prominent and high-rung professionals may also be included if they attain great influence and wealth. The main distinguishing feature of this class is their source of income. While the vast majority of people and households derive their income from salaries, those in the upper class derive their income primarily from investments and capital gains.

    Households with a net worth of $1 million or more may be identified as members of the upper-most socioeconomic demographic, depending on the class model used. While most contemporary sociologists estimate that only 1% of households are members of the upper class, sociologist Leonard Beeghley asserts that all households with a net worth of $1 million or more are considered “rich. ” He divides the rich into two sub-groups: the rich and the super-rich. The rich constitute roughly 5% of U.S. households and their wealth is largely in the form of home equity. Other contemporary sociologists, such as Dennis Gilbert, argue that this group is not part of the upper class but rather part of the upper middle class, as its standard of living is largely derived from occupation-generated income and its affluence falls far short of that attained by the top percentile. The super-rich, according to Beeghley, are those able to live off their wealth without depending on occupation-derived income. This demographic constitutes how to apply for food stamps in texas online 0.9% of American households. Beeghley’s definition of the super-rich is congruent with the definition of upper class employed by most other sociologists. The top.01% of the population, with an annual income of $9.5 million or more, received 5% of the income of the United States in 2007. These 15,000 families have been characterized as the “richest of the rich. ”

    The Upper Middle Class

    The upper-middle class refers to people within the middle class that have high educational attainment, high salaries, and high status jobs.

    Learning Objectives

    Identify the central characteristics of the upper-middle class in the U.S.

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • Members of the upper-middle class have substantially less wealth and prestige than the upper class, but a higher standard of living than the lower-middle class or working class.
    • The U.S. upper-middle class consists mostly of white-collar professionals who have a high degree of autonomy in their work. The most common professions of the upper-middle class tend to center on conceptualizing, consulting, and instruction.
    • In addition to having autonomy in their work, above-average incomes, and advanced educations, the upper middle class also tends to be powerful; members are influential in setting trends and shaping public opinion.

    Key Terms

    • educational attainment: Educational attainment is a term commonly used by statisticians to refer to the highest degree of education an individual has completed.
    • salaried professionals: White-collar employees whose work is largely self-directed and is compensated with an annual salary, rather than an hourly wage.

    Sociologists use the term “upper-middle class” to refer to the social group consisting of 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 class. ” There is considerable debate as to how to define the upper-middle class. According to the rubric laid out by sociologist Max Weber, the upper-middle class consists of well-educated professionals with graduate degrees and comfortable what is considered rich in usa 1951, sociologist C. Wright Mills conducted one of first major studies of the middle class in America. According to his definition, the middle class consists of an upper-middle class, made up of professionals distinguished by exceptionally high educational attainment and high economic security; and a lower-middle class, consisting of semi-professionals. While the groups overlap, differences between those at the center of both groups are considerable.

    Among modern sociologists, the American upper-middle class is defined using income, education, and occupation as primary indicators. There is some debate over what exactly the term “upper-middle class” means, but in academic models, the term generally applies to highly educated, salaried professionals whose work is largely self-directed. The U.S. upper-middle class consists mostly of white-collar professionals who have a high degree of autonomy in their work. The most common professions of the upper-middle class tend to center on conceptualizing, consulting, and instruction. They include such occupations as lawyer, physician, dentist, engineer, professor, architect, civil service executive, and civilian contractor. Many members of the upper-middle class have graduate degrees, such as law, business, or medical degrees, which are often required for professional occupations. Educational attainment is a distinguishing feature of the upper-middle class. Additionally, household incomes in the upper-middle class commonly exceed $100,000, with some smaller one-income earners earning incomes in the high 5-figure range.

    In addition to autonomy in their work, above-average incomes, and advanced educations, the upper middle class also tends to be powerful; members are influential in setting trends and shaping public opinion. Moreover, members of the upper-middle class are generally more economically secure than their lower-middle class counterparts. Holding advanced degrees and high status in corporations and institutions tends to insulate the upper-middle class from economic downturns. Members of this class are likely to be in the top income quintile, or the top 20% of the economic hierarchy.


    University Campus: Advanced education is one of the most distinguishing features of the upper-middle class.

    The Lower Middle Class

    The lower-middle class are those with some education and comfortable salaries, but with socioeconomic statuses below the upper-middle class.

    Learning Objectives

    Discuss the differences between the lower and upper-middle class

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • The lower-middle class, also sometimes simply referred to as “middle class,” includes roughly one third of U.S. households, and is thought to be growing.
    • Individuals in the lower-middle class tend to hold low status professional or white collar jobs, such as school teacher, nurse, or paralegal.
    • The lower-middle class is among the largest social classes, rivaled only by the working class, and it is thought to be growing.

    Key Terms

    • college education: Education beyond secondary school, usually culminating in a bachelor’s degree and serving as a necessary credential for middle class occupations.
    • White Collar: Describes a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work for a salary.
    • professional: A person whose occupation is highly skilled, salaried, and requires high educational attainment.

    In developed nations across the world, the lower-middle class is a sub-division of the middle class that refers to households and individuals who are somewhat educated and usually stably employed, but who have not attained the education, occupational prestige, or income of the upper-middle class.

    In American society, the middle class is often divided into the lower-middle class and upper-middle class. The lower-middle class (also sometimes simply referred to as the middle class) consists of roughly one third of households—it is roughly twice as large as the upper-middle and upper classes. Lower-middle class individuals commonly have some college education or a bachelor’s degree and earn a comfortable living. The lower-middle class is among the largest social classes, rivaled only by the working class, and it is thought to be growing.

    Individuals in the lower-middle class tend to hold low status professional or white collar jobs, such as school teacher, nurse, or paralegal. These types of occupations usually require some education but generally do not require a graduate degree. Lower-middle class occupations usually provide comfortable salaries, but put individuals beneath the top third of incomes.


    Elementary School Teacher: Primary school teachers are generally considered lower-middle class. They usually hold college degrees, but often do not hold graduate degrees; they make comfortable incomes, but have low accumulated wealth; their work is largely self-directed, but is not high status.

    According to some class models the lower middle class is located roughly between the 52nd and 84th percentile of society. In terms of personal income distribution in 2005, that would mean gross annual personal incomes from about $32,500 to $60,000. Since 42% of all households had two income earners, with the majority of those in the top 40% of gross income, household income figures would be significantly higher, ranging from roughly $50,000 to $100,000 annually. In terms of educational attainment, 27% of persons had a bachelor’s degree or higher. If the upper middle and upper class combined are to constitute 16% of the population, it becomes clear that some of those in the lower middle class boast college degrees or some college education.

    The Working Class

    The working class consists of individuals and households with low educational attainment, low status occupations, and below average incomes.

    Learning Objectives

    Explain how differences in class culture may affect working-class students who enter the post-secondary education system

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • Members of the working class usually have a high school diploma or some college education, and may work in low-skilled occupations like retail sales or manual labor.
    • Due to differences between middle and working-class cultures, working-class college students may face “culture shock” upon entering the post-secondary education system, with its “middle class” culture.
    • Working classes are mainly found in industrialized economies and in the urban areas of non-industrialized economies.

    Key Terms

    • working class: The social class of those who perform physical or low-skilled work for a living, as opposed to the professional or middle class, the upper class, or the upper middle class.
    • Blue Collar: Describes working-class occupations, especially those involving manual labor.
    • manual labor: Any work done by hand; usually implying it is unskilled or physically demanding.

    Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs (as measured by skill, education, and income), often extending to those who are unemployed or otherwise earning below-average incomes. Working classes are mainly found in industrialized economies and in the urban areas of non-industrialized economies.

    In the United States, the parameters of the working class remain vaguely defined and are contentious. Since many members of the working class, as defined by academic models, are often identified in the vernacular as being middle class, there is considerable ambiguity over the term’s meaning. In the class models devised by sociologists, the working class comprises between 30 percent and 35 percent of the population, roughly the same percentage as the lower middle class. Those in the working class are commonly employed in low-skilled occupations, including clerical and retail positions and blue collar or manual labor occupations. Low-level, white-collar employees are sometimes included in this class, such as secretaries and call center employees.

    Education, for example, can pose an especially intransigent barrier in the United States. Members of the working class commonly have only a high school diploma, although some may have minimal college courses to their credit as well. Due to differences between middle and working-class cultures, working-class college students may face “culture shock” upon entering the post-secondary education system, with its “middle class” culture. Research showing that working-class students are taught to value obedience over leadership and creativity can partially account for the difficulties that many working-class individuals face upon entering colleges and universities.


    Battle Strike: Class War: Workers battle with the police during the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934.

    The Lower Class

    The lower class consists of those at the bottom of the socioeconomic hierarchy who have low education, low income, and low status jobs.

    Learning Objectives

    Differentiate between the terms “lower class,” “working poor,” and “underclass”

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • Low educational attainment and disabilities are two of the main reasons individuals can either struggle to find work or fall into the lower class.
    • Generally, the term lower class describes individuals working easily-filled employment positions. These positions typically have little prestige or economic compensation, and do not require workers to have a high school education.
    • Lower class households are at the greatest risk of falling below the poverty line if a job holder suddenly becomes unemployed.

    Key Terms

    • Poverty line: This is the threshold of poverty used by the U.S. Census Bureau to define the minimum income one must earn to meet basic material needs.
    • public assistance: the various forms of material aid provided by the government to those who are in need
    • underclass: the poorest class us bank schnucks hours people in a given society
    • manual labor: Any work done by hand; usually implying it is unskilled or physically demanding.

    Defining the Lower Class

    The lower class in the United States refers to individuals who are at, or near, the lower end of the socioeconomic hierarchy. As with all social classes in the United States, the lower class is loosely defined, and its boundaries and definitions are subject to debate. When used by social scientists, the lower class is typically defined as service employees, low-level manual laborers, and the unemployed. Those who are employed in lower class occupations are often colloquially referred to as the working poor. Those who do not participate in the labor force, and who rely on public assistance, such as food stamps and welfare checks, as their main source of income, are commonly identified as members of the underclass, or, colloquially, the poor. Generally, lower class individuals work easily-filled employment positions that have little prestige or economic compensation. These individuals often lack a high school education.

    Unemployment and the Poverty Line

    A number of things can cause an individual to become unemployed. Two of the most common causes are low educational attainment and disabilities, the latter of which includes both physical and mental ailments that preclude educational or occupational success. The poverty line is defined as the income level at which an individual becomes eligible for public assistance. While only about 12% of households fall below the poverty threshold at one point in time, the total percentage of households that will, at some point during the course of a single year, fall what is considered rich in usa the poverty line, is much higher. Many such households waver above and below the line throughout a single year. Lower class households are at the greatest risk of falling below this poverty line, particularly if a job holder becomes unemployed. For all of these reasons, lower class households are the most economically vulnerable in the United States.


    Gilbert Model: This is a model of the socio-economic stratification of American society, as outlined by Dennis Gilbert.

    Income Distribution

    The United States has a high level of income inequality, with a wide gap between the top and bottom brackets of earners.

    Learning Objectives

    Explain the development of income distribution in the US since the 1970’s and what is meant by the “Great Divergence”

    Key Takeaways

    Key Points

    • Since the 1970s, inequality has increased dramatically in the United States.
    • Different groups get different compensation for the same work. The discrepancy in wages between males and females is called the ” gender wage gap,” and the discrepancy between whites and minorities is called the “racial wage gap”.
    • While earnings from capital and investment are still a significant cause of inequality, income is increasingly segregated by occupation as well. Of earners, 60% in the top 0.1% are executives, managers, supervisors, and financial professionals.

    Key Terms

    • Race Wage Gap: The difference in earnings between racial or ethnic groups.
    • Gender Wage Gap: The difference between male and female earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings.
    • great divergence: Refers to the growth of economic inequality in America since the 1970s.

    Income Distribution by Education: This graph illustrates the unequal distribution of income between groups with different levels of educational attainment. Education is an indicator of class position, meaning that unequal distribution of income by education points to inequality between the classes.

    Unequal distribution of income between genders, races, and the population, in general, in the United States has been the frequent subject of study by scholars and institutions. Inequality between male and female workers, called the “gender wage gap,” has decreased considerably over the last several decades. During the same time, inequality between black and white Americans, sometimes called the “race wage gap,” has stagnated, not improving but not getting worse. Nevertheless, data from a number of sources indicate that overall income inequality in the United States has grown significantly since the late 1970s, widening the gap between the country’s rich what is considered rich in usa poor.

    A number of studies by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have found that the distribution of income in the United States has become increasingly unequal since the 1970s. Economist Paul Krugman and journalist Timothy Noah have referred to this trend as the “Great Divergence.” Since the 1970s, income inequality has grown almost continuously, with the exceptions being during the economic recessions in 1990-91, 2001, and 2007. The Great Divergence differs in some ways from the pre-Depression era inequality observed in the early 1900s (the last period of great inequality). Before 1937, a larger share of top earners’ income came from capital (interest, dividends, income from rent, capital gains). Post-1970, a higher proportion of the income of high-income taxpayers comes predominantly from employment compensation–60% of earners in the top 0.1% are executives, managers, supervisors, and financial professionals, and the five most common professions among the top 1% of earners are managers, physicians, administrators, lawyers, and financial specialists. Still, much of the richest Americans’ accumulated wealth is in the form of stocks and real estate.


    Richest States

    Determining the richest states comes down to the residents' income and the local state government's revenue. In this article, we'll look at each state's median household income and GDP to determine the wealthiest states in the U.S.

    The state's median household income varies significantly due to the job market, costs of living, and overall economic health. In 2019, the median U.S. household income was $65,712. The District of Columbia had the highest with $92,266, and Mississippi had the lowest with $45,792. Generally, educational attainment correlates with median household incomes.

    GDP, or gross domestic product, is a reflection of each state's economy. The GDP refers to the state's overall distribution of goods. The GDP of the U.S. is $21.7 million. By state, the GDP ranges from $33,278 in Vermont to $3,120,386,000 in California.

    Richest U.S. States by Median Household Income

    1. District of Columbia

    D.C. has the highest median household income of any state of $92,266. D.C. has the highest educational attainment in the U.S., with 56.6% of adults having a Bachelor's degree or higher. Despite this, the District still has a relatively high poverty rate of 13.5%.

    2. Maryland

    Maryland's median income is the second-highest in the U.S. at $86,738. Maryland also has very high education attainment, with 40.2% of adults having a Bachelor's degree or higher. Maryland also has one of the lowest poverty rates in the U.S. at 9%.

    3. Massachusetts

    Massachusetts, known for having high-quality education and high-paying jobs, is the third-richest state in terms of median income. Massachusett's median income is $85,843. Massachusetts is the most educated state, known for having the second-highest percentage of adults with at least a Bachelor's degree (43.7%) and the highest percentage of graduate and professional degree holders (32.4%).

    4. New Jersey

    New Jersey is the nation's fourth-richest state, with a median household income of $85,751. New Jersey also ranks high for the quality of education and educational attainment among all states, including having the fourth-highest percentage of adults with a Bachelor's degree at 38.9%. Additionally, New Jersey has the fifth-lowest poverty rate of 9.2%

    5. Hawaii

    Hawaii's median household income is $83,102. This is the fifth-highest in the U.S., which is good because Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living of any state. Hawaii's poverty rate is also relatively low at 9.3%.

    Richest U.S. States by GDP

    Ranking which states are the wealthiest looks much different than using median household income. GDP can be largely influenced by population, so, as evident below, the states with the largest GDPs tend to be the largest. Of the five richest states, three of the five states' GDPs line up with their population ranks, except Florida and New York. New York has the third-largest GDP but the fourth-largest population, while Florida has the reverse. We will also note their respective median incomes for comparison.

    1. California

    California, the nation's most populous state, has the largest state GDP of $3,120,386,000. California's median household income is $80,440, the sixth-highest in the U.S.

    2. Texas

    The country's second-most populous state, Texas, is also its second-richest state in terms of GDP. Texas's GDP is $1,772,132,000. Texas's median household income is $64,034, just below the national median.

    3. New York

    New York is the third-richest state in the United States, with a GDP of $1,705,127,000. New York's median household income is the 15th-highest among all states at $72,108.

    4. Florida

    Florida is the fourth and final state with a GDP of over $1 trillion with $1,111,614,000. Florida's median household income is below the national median at $59,227.

    5. Illinois

    Illinois has the nation's fifth-highest GDP and is the fifth-most populous state. Illinois's GDP is $785,671,000, and its median household income is $69,187.


    Top 10 Wealthiest Families in the World

    Regardless of your particular financial status, keeping tabs on the ultrarich—whether with admiration, envy, or resentment—is perhaps more pleasurable and less demanding than researching a mortgage, shopping for online brokers, or getting schooled on complex topics in finance and economics, like how exchange-traded funds work and the pros and cons of gross domestic product (GDP).

    To be sure, the appeal of wealthy families reflects a culture that fetishizes wealth and lionizes the rich. The upper echelon of business leaders are celebrities of a sort, as scrutinized for their ability to perform as athletes, actors, and politicians.

    Successful family businesses may offer a universal appeal. Few of us will ever become billionaires, but everyone has a family. What’s more, family businesses imply values of authenticity, tradition, heritage, lineage, and quality. And wealthy families suggest royalty, especially if the wealth is intergenerational.

    For the sake of simplicity, we have limited our list of richest families to those groups who originally made their fortunes through business, even if some heirs who still enjoy the money haven’t been employed in the business. The most recent updates are from 2020.

    Key Takeaways

    • At $215 billion, the Waltons are the richest family in the world thanks to their massive stake in Walmart, the world's largest company by revenue.
    • The fourth generation of the Mars family, the second-richest clan after the Waltons, currently runs the eponymously named Mars candy company.
    • Although estimated to be $95 billion, the exact wealth of the House of Saud is difficult to accurately assess due in large part to the size of the royal family.
    • The least wealthy family on this list is the Albrechts, who still have $41 billion in assets thanks to their highly popular grocery store chains.
    • By focusing solely on families, this list does not include the richest people on Earth, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates

    1. Walton Family—Walmart

    Estimated Wealth: $215 billion

    The Waltons are the richest family in America—and by some measures, the wealthiest clan in the world. At the top of the value chain, in 2020, Jim and Alice Walton are each worth $54 billion and ranked No.8 and No.9, respectively, on Forbes’ annual list of billionaires. 

    Walmart is a retail behemoth. Founded by Sam Walton in Arkansas in 1962, Walmart is now the world’s largest company by 2020 revenues, with $524 billion and over 2.2 million U.S. associates. If those people constituted their own city, it would be the fourth most populous American city, after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The company operates nearly 11,510 retail stores worldwide and 5,347 stores in the U.S. as of Oct. 31, 2020.

    Best known for big-box stores in rural and suburban America, Walmart is celebrated for its low-priced products and criticized for its labor practices. The company failed to bring its big-box consumer lifestyle to New York City, unlike its competitor, Target.

    2. Mars Family—Mars

    Estimated Wealth: $120 billion

    Mars is the Walmart of candy: a multigenerational family business that is ubiquitous, cheap, and popular. Today, the company is better known for making M&Ms than for its eponymous Mars bar. In 2017, the world’s largest candy company diversified with the purchase of VCA, a pet care company, for $9.1 billion.

    Siblings Jacqueline and John Mars, whose grandfather, Frank Mars, founded the company, each has a net worth of $24.7 billion and are tied for No.29 in 2020 on the Forbes annual list of billionaires. The company is now being run by some of their children, the fourth generation of Mars family members.

    3. Koch Family—Koch Industries

    Estimated Wealth: $109.7 billion

    Charles Koch owes his staggering fortune to an oil business founded by his father, but today, he is perhaps better known to the general public for his politics, digging into his deep pockets to place his stamp on it: financing candidates and libertarian think tanks, funding university professorships, and lobbying for policy positions, all aimed at furthering a conservative agenda.

    Charles partnered with his brother David until the latter’s death in 2019. Charles is worth an estimated $38.2 billion, tied for the 18th spot with David’s widow Julia Koch and family on the Forbes billionaires list.

    4. Al Saud—Saudi Royal Family

    Estimated Wealth: $95 billion

    The House of Saud, the Saudi royal family, has a monarchical history extending back nearly a century. The family’s massive fortune, estimated at $95 billion, has grown thanks to decades of payments from the Royal Diwan, the king’s executive office. Ties with Saudi Aramco, the world’s most profitable company and a behemoth of the oil industry, ensure that the Saudi royal family continues to accumulate wealth. It’s difficult to accurately assess the wealth of the House of Saud, in part because the family contains as many as 15,000 extended members, many of whom have founded businesses, received government contracts, and more.

    5. Ambani Family—Reliance Industries

    Estimated Wealth: $81.3 billion

    Indian industrial conglomerate Reliance Industries, the only Asian company on our list, might be the least well known to average readers. Nevertheless, CEO Mukesh Ambani, whose late father founded the company in 1957, is 21st on Forbes' billionaires list, overseeing the company’s refining, petrochemicals, oil, gas, and textiles; his brother, Anil, manages telecommunications, asset management, entertainment, and power generation.

    6. Dumas Family—Hermès

    Estimated Wealth: $63.9 billion

    French fashion house and luxury purveyor Hermès has dazzled the world with its signature scarves, neckties, and perfumes, as well as its iconic Kelly and Birkin handbags. Back in the 19th century, Thierry Hermès fashioned riding apparel for the aristocracy. Today, the company dresses basketball royalty such as LeBron James. Fusing old-school and new technology, Hermès Apple Watches sell for $1,300 to $2,000 and up. Axel Dumas currently serves as the company’s CEO and chair, and Pierre-Alexis Dumas is the artistic director.

    7. Wertheimer Family—Chanel

    Estimated Wealth: $54.4 billion

    French high-fashion house Chanel is legendary for the timeless “little black dress,” the No.5 perfume, and the late high-profile designer Karl Lagerfeld, who died on Feb. 19, 2019. Brothers Alain and Gerhard Wertheimer now co-own the company that their grandfather staked with founder Gabrielle Coco Chanel. The brothers are both ranked 48th on the Forbes billionaires list, with a net worth of $17 billion each.

    8. Johnson Family—Fidelity Investments

    Estimated Wealth: $46.3 billion

    Fidelity Investments was founded by Edward C. Johnson II in 1946 and is one of the largest financial services firms in the world, providing investment services to millions of people. The firm is now run by Johnson’s granddaughter, Abigail Johnson, who ranks 124th on the Forbes billionaires list at a net worth of $10.8 billion.

    9. Boehringer, von Baumbach Families—Boehringer Ingelheim

    Estimated Wealth: $45.7 billion

    Boehringer Ingelheim is a German pharmaceuticals company with more than 130 years of history. The Boehringer family, along with the von Baumbachs, remain in control of the company several generations later.

    10. Albrecht Family—Aldi

    Estimated Wealth: $41 billion

    Aldi is an international chain of grocery stores that grew when brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht began to manage their parents’ grocery store after World War II. Aldi also owns the popular American chain of grocery stores known as Trader Joe’s. Theo Albrecht and family have a net worth of $17 billion and rank at No.51 on the Forbes billionaires list.

    The Bottom Line

    Admittedly, this list may read as a naked celebration of wealth at a time of rising global inequality and the vanishing middle class or an implicit condoning of heedless consumption at a time when the future of wealth itself is in question due to technological disruption and climate change.

    Moreover, the focus on families means the list doesn’t include the world’s three richest what is considered rich in usa Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates—although technically they all have families.

    Which Family Is the Wealthiest on Earth?

    According to Bloomberg, with $215 billion of estimated wealth in 2020, the Walton family is the richest family in America and possibly the entire world.

    What 10 Richest Families Are the Wealthiest?

    The top 10 richest families in 2020 by estimated wealth are:

    • The Walton Family: $215 billion
    • The Mars Family: $120 billion
    • The Koch Family: $109.7 billion
    • The Saudi Royal Family: $95 billion
    • The Ambani Family: $81.3 billion
    • The Dumas Family: $63.9 billion
    • The Wertheimer Family: $54.4 billion
    • The Johnson Family: $46.3 billion
    • The Boehringer and von Baumbach Families: $45.7 billion
    • The Albrecht Family: $41 billion

    Who Are the Wealthiest People in the World?

    According to Forbes, the top three richest on Earth in 2020 were Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

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    what is considered rich in usa

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