Middle classes are often the subject of public debate. They would be declining, under the pressure of too many taxes, on the way of pauperization and neglected by the Welfare State.
A thorough survey in thirty countries over the three last decades has shown that a lot of these ideas are wrong, however middle classes do feel they are going through difficult times.
Depending on the countries, middle classes represent between 35% and 63% of the population. 59% of the French population belongs to these social classes, one of the highest rate in the world. Besides, contrary to many countries, this percentage is not decreasing.
This CREDOC’s research shows that middle classes are numerous in rich countries and in countries where social benefits and taxes are high.
Indeed, the redistribution systems tend to reinforce middle classes by reducing big poverty and decreasing the income gaps among the population.
Moreover, middle classes seem to develop better in democracies where social legislation is strengthened and where participation and consensus are at the core of the political system.
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