Upper Class

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Upper Class'

A socioeconomic term used to describe individuals who reside above both the working class and middle class of a social hierarchy. Individuals in the upper class have higher levels of disposable income, greater say in the political realm and exert more control over the use of natural resources. While the upper class makes up a small percentage of the overall population, it controls a disproportionately large amount of the overall wealth.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Upper Class'

From a historical perspective, the upper class was dominated by land-owning nobility and aristocrats. Over the years the term has expanded to include celebrities, politicians, investors and other wealthy people.


While those in the upper class ("the rich") do exert significant control over economic and political developments, most production activities and consumption is done by the working and middle classes.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Middle Class

    Individuals who fall between the working class and the upper ...
  2. Working Class

    A socioeconomic term used to describe persons in a social class ...
  3. Income Inequality

    The unequal distribution of household or individual income across ...
  4. Poverty Gap

    The average shortfall of the total population from the poverty ...
  5. Net Worth

    The amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Net worth is a ...
  6. The Wealth Effect

    The premise that when the value of stock portfolios rises due ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. No results found.
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    The Gini Index: Measuring Income Distribution

    A country with $100 billion in assets and four residents sounds good - unless three of them have $0.
  2. Options & Futures

    3 Simple Steps To Building Wealth

    Getting richer is easier if you take it one step at a time.
  3. Savings

    Retiring: Is $1 Million Enough?

    Find out why this magic number has lost some of its lustre as a retirement savings target.
  4. Options & Futures

    Reining In CEO Rewards

    Could bloated CEO compensation be to blame for the widening gap between the rich and the ultra-rich?
  5. Options & Futures

    10 Steps To Retire A Millionaire

    Making this dream come true takes work, but it's well worth the effort.
  6. Insurance

    Warren Buffett: The Road To Riches

    Find out how he went from selling soft drinks to buying up companies and making billions of dollars.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    Which NFL Franchise is Worth the Most (and Why)?

    What is the most valuable franchise in the NFL? Are any other franchises close to the top dog? Where does your favorite team rank?
  8. Personal Finance

    Will Your Net Worth Be Affected By A Recession?

    Here's a look at how a potential recession could impact your net worth in a negative way.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Building A Fortune: Jerry Jones And The Cowboys

    From insurance and wildcatting, to licensing and pizza, Jerry Jones has rolled the dice and frequently won. Here's how the man remade the franchise.
  10. Retirement

    Relationship Money Matters

    Whether married, single or somewhere in between, you'll face unique financial challenges.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  2. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
  3. Gordon Growth Model

    A model for determining the intrinsic value of a stock, based on a future series of dividends that grow at a constant rate. ...
  4. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
  5. Law Of Supply

    A microeconomic law stating that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, the quantity ...
  6. Investment Grade

    A rating that indicates that a municipal or corporate bond has a relatively low risk of default. Bond rating firms, such ...
Trading Center