A new Rasmussen Reports national phone survey finds that 54% of Americans consider someone making $50,000 a year to be "middle-income." Interestingly, 32% of respondents said $50K sounds like "low-income" to them.
1% of respondents consider a person making $50K a year to be "wealthy." That 1% were probably the South Dakotans picking up the phone. Compare the perceptions in the Rasmussen survey to wage realities in South Dakota, and you'll see why: according to
Labor Market Information Center stats from the South Dakota Bureau of Labor, the average annual wage for all occupations in South Dakota is $32,826. The median wage for all SD jobs is $26,771, meaning 50% of us workers make more than that, 50% make less. 75% of us make $38,250 or less... meaning that, in the perception of a third of Americans, well over three quarters of the jobs in South Dakota are low-income jobs.
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