I think what it takes to be "Middle Class" greatly depends on where you live/the cost of living in that area.
My zip code has a cost of living that is over 20% higher than the national average. The average home price is close to $500k (even a 2bdr condo cost that much and more). To be middle class in my area, a family of (let's say 4) needs to earn 6 figures easily. There was an article in the Oregonian (oh geez) 3-4 years ago, that did a break down in regards to what it takes to be "Middle Class" in my area of Portland. For a single person alone, the cost was around $70k a year. For a family of four it was around $150k a year.Now mind you, that is downtown/city center/nw portland.Other areas of Portland are a little cheaper to live in.
((Using the traditional "idea" of middle class: Not living paycheck to paycheck, all bills paid in full and on time every month, no forms of assistance, able to save a % of income, etc.))
at 9:20 PM on Jan. 26, 2011