To create upper-, middle- and lower-income tiers, respondents’ 2020 family incomes were adjusted for differences in purchasing power by geographic region and household size. “Middle-income” adults live in families with annual incomes that are two-thirds to double the median family income in the panel (after incomes have been adjusted for the local cost of living and household size). The middle-income range for the American Trends Panel is about $42,000 to $125,900 annually for an average family of three. Lower-income families have incomes less than roughly $42,000, and upper-income families have incomes greater than roughly $125,900 (all figures expressed in 2020 dollars).
Based on these adjustments, 31% of respondents are lower income, 47% are middle income and 16% fall into the upper-income tier. An additional 6% either didn’t offer a response to the income question or the household size question.
For more information about how the income tiers were determined, please see here.