Listening to the presidential hopefuls, I thought some statistics about mainstream America could come in handy. My topics are based on a quiz from libertarian political scientist Charles Murray that NPR updated.
Focusing on higher education, one quiz question implied that if you have a college degree and live in a municipality where most of your neighbors also have a degree, then you are not in the midst of mainstream America.
In 2015, two-thirds of all Americans 25-29 years-old did not complete college:
Moving to jobs, another question focused on how many of us are in managerial positions. Statistics included with the quiz indicated that in 2010, 75% of all households did not have breadwinners with managerial jobs.
More broadly defined with professional occupations included, you can see the managerial total is close to 45 million in a labor force of 158.5 million:
Other characteristics of mainstream American culture ? Mass market beer in the fridge, a pickup in the driveway, and knowing who Jimmie Johnson is.
And finally, here is where an economic elite might not eat:
Our Bottom Line: The Economic Elite
The exercise was called a bubble quiz because it let people decide just how much they were in the mainstream or in a different world. I wanted to share the quiz with you because it gives some insight about our political divisions.
My sources: Looking to quantify the “Bubble Quiz,” I went to the US Census’s Current Population Survey on education and then to the BLS and to FRED for managerial position data. I also recommend a paper co-authored by scholars from Princeton and Northwestern about the power of the economic elite and interest groups.