Defining income tiers
To create upper-, middle- and lower-income tiers, respondents’ 2018 family incomes were adjusted for differences in purchasing power by geographic region and for household size. “Middle-income” adults live in families with annual incomes that are two-thirds to double the median family income in the American Trends Panel (after incomes have been adjusted for the local cost of living and for household size). The middle-income range for the panel is about $37,500 to $112,600 annually for a three-person household. Lower-income families have incomes less than roughly $37,500, and upper-income families have incomes greater than roughly $112,600.
Based on these adjustments, among respondents who provided their income and household size, 32% fall into the lower-income tier, 45% in the middle-income tier and 23% fall in the upper-income tier.
For more information about how the income tiers were determined, please see here.