The middle-class paradox: Less than half of Americans say they’re middle class

Call it America’s middle-class paradox. People who probably don’t earn enough to be middle class consider themselves to be part of this group.

Nearly half of Americans (49%) consider themselves middle class and only one-third of those that do are still satisfied with their financial situation, according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by market-research group Mintel released Tuesday. What’s more, only one-quarter find their work personally fulfilling. “Americans want access to opportunities that improve the overall quality of their lives,” the study found. “This attitude might be related to income inequality, with people of average income levels feeling relatively unsatisfied with what they have compared to the top 1%.

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