What does class mean in China?

Remember that in China we can only analyze data from the middle classes and above.

  • Poor and lower middle class - Farmers and salaried workers (i.e. sweatshops, factories, retail). Low levels of education (i.e. high school, vocational degrees or none). Struggling to make ends meet in both rural and urban areas. Cannot afford property or a car.
  • Middle class - Civil servants, white collar professionals or aspiring professionals. Living in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Average education (i.e. degrees from middling universities). Can afford an apartment, a car, and domestic vacations.
  • Rich and upper middle class - Managerial level workers or civil servants, pilots, well-known doctors, lawyers, engineers, or professors. The upper echelons of this class are officials with some authority in Tier 1 city governments, owners of successful businesses, celebrities, and have income beyond their salary. Highly educated (i.e. degrees from first- or second-tier universities or foreign universities). Can afford real estate in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 city, and multiple cars. They travel internationally.