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The working middle- salary and career now similar for ‘working’ and ‘middle’ classes

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The gap is closing between the working and middle classes – with the value of homes and the amount of cash savings now the only real differences, a study has revealed. Despite people assuming the gap between classes is getting wider, the decline of factories and industry coupled with the rise of technology means many ‘working class’ people are now doing similar, or even the same jobs, as those in the ‘middle classes’.

There is also marginal difference in the average salary, the type of home they live in and even where they holiday.

Despite this, almost four in ten of those who consider themselves working class still dream of working their way up the social ladder.

It also emerged that family background is the key factor in determining class, along with your job or career, salary and the house you live in.

The car you drive, material possessions and whether you claim any benefits are also an indication of your social class.

A spokesman for 4DVD, which commissioned the study to mark this week’s home entertainment release of comedy drama Shameless (series 9) said:

”Social class was once massively important in defining who you are, with people doing everything they could to climb up the ladder.

”But while the upper class is still seen as unattainable for most people, the gap between the working and middle classes is smaller than ever before. Even Frank Gallagher in Shameless is getting a job!

”There was a time when the working class title was reserved for labourers, factory workers and those who survive on benefits and hand-outs.

”This has changed in recent years with someone who defines themselves as being working class now working in an office in a secure job, living in a nice home and with a nearly new car on the driveway.”

The study of 2,000 adults found that half believe they are ‘middle class’, while 48% opted to declare themselves as ‘working class’.

But while those who consider themselves as middle class earn an average of £24,744, their working class counterparts have a salary of £20,011 – well under £5,000 difference.

Working class Brits also now live in a semi-detached three bedroomed home worth around £217,969, compared to the average middle class detached home worth just £278,714.

It also emerged that those in the two different social classes both own an average of one car per household – most likely to be a Ford or Vauxhall – and holiday in Europe on a self-catering basis.

The only real differences between the two social groups are in the amount of savings and investments – working class have an average of £13,446 compared to the middle class of £25,963.

The total household income also sees a gap of around £10,000, with working class couples earning an average of £32,375 compared to middle class households who have combined salaries of £43,592.

Researchers also found that while 64% think social class is still important in today’s society, just one in twenty said it is important to them to fit into a certain group.

And just 35% have an ambition to move up the social ladder, with getting a better paid job the plan for 59% of those.

Other ways social climbers hope to move up included changing careers altogether, moving house and even marrying into a well-off or influential family.

Researchers also found that 90% of people think there are certain stereotypes about the different social classes, while 74% of Brits think that certain aspects of your personality or life can mean you get grouped into a certain social class.


AVERAGE WORKING CLASS BRIT:

Earns £20,011
Has a household income of £32,375
Works full-time
Drives a Ford, Vauxhall or Citroen
Has one car in their household
Lives in a semi-detached home worth £217,969 with 3 bedrooms
Is married
Holidays in short-haul destinations on a self-catering basis
Has an average of £13,446 in savings or investments

AVERAGE MIDDLE CLASS BRIT:

Earns £24,744
Has a household income of £43,592
Works full-time
Drives a Ford, Vauxhall or Toyota
Has one car in their household
Lives in a detached home worth £278,714 with 3 bedrooms
Is married
Holidays in short-haul destinations on a self-catering basis
Has an average of £25,963 in savings or investments

TOP TEN THINGS THAT MAKE YOU MIDDLE CLASS:

1.    Genetic/family background
2.    Job/Career
3.    Salary
4.    The house you live in
5.    Money/savings in the bank
6.    Investments
7.    The car you drive
8.    Material objects
9.    Your hobbies/activities
10.    Whether you claim any benefits

 

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