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Perceptions of Social Class (trends)

Published:19 March 2008
Fieldwork:1981 - 2008
Theme:Society
Keywords:Middle class, Social class, Working class
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

Q Most people say they belong either to the middle class or to the working class. If you had to make a choice, would you call yourself middle class or working class?*

  May
1981
1986 2-13
March
1989‡
 7-25
March
1991
22
August
1991
18-21
October
1996
2
June
2000
7-9
April
2005
7-9
March
2008†
  % % %  % % % % % %
Working Class 63 66 67  65 61 61 58 57 52
Middle Class - 28 30  29 - 32 35 40 44
Middle/Upper Class 28 - -  - 30 - - - -
Don't know 9 - -  6 9 - - - 3
Neither/Don't know - 5 4  - - 7 7 3 -
Refused - - -  - - - - - 1

*In 2008 asked as "Most people say they belong either to the middle class or to the working class. Which of these best describes you, middle class or working class?" 
In 1981 and August 1991 asked as: "Do you ever think of yourself as belonging to a particular social class? (If yes) Which class is that? (If no) Most people say they belong either to the middle class or to the working class. If you had to make a choice, would you call yourself middle class or working class?"

Base: c. 600-1,500 GB adults aged 18+ except: †Base: 1,054 GB adults 16+, ‡Base: 1,458 GB adults 15+

 

Q And which social class would you say your parents belonged to when you started primary school?


2-13
March
1989
18-21
October
1996
7-9
March
2008
  % % %
Working Class 75 70 67
Middle Class 21 24 30
Don't know - 3 3
Refused 4 3 *

Base: 1,458 GB adults 15+ (1989); 1,027 GB adults aged 18+ (1996); 1,054 GB adults aged 16+ (2008)

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