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Class divide 'a thing of the past'

Class divide in Britain may be a thing of the past with 71% of Britons now labelling themselves as middle class, a survey has revealed.

Results from the study, conducted by think-tank Britain Thinks, show a steep rise in the country's aspirations, with almost three-quarters of those surveyed considering themselves as middle class compared with 27% in the 1980s.

The research shows that only 24% of people describe themselves as working class, with no participants claiming to be upper class, suggesting a breakdown in traditional class barriers.

The poll questioned 2,000 UK adults, quizzing people on their ambitions, living standards, favourite brands, finances and political persuasion.

The think-tank separated the middle class cohort into six focus groups based on the respondent's social, political and financial issues.

Ranging from "Deserving Downtimers" to "Stretched Strugglers", the groups reveal significant differences in the attitudes of Britain's booming middle class.

Described as liking eBay and dairy company Muller, but disliking John Lewis and Sainsbury's, the "Bargain Hunters" were the largest middle class group, accounting for 24.3%. 'Daily Mail Disciplinarians' were the second largest group, with the survey revealing they are most likely to live in northern England and to send their children to private school.

The poll suggests that Britain's large middle class may not be as "squeezed" as some politicians claim, with several middle class groups owning a home with a mortgage and many having provisions in place for retirement.

However, the "Bargain Hunters" and "Stretched Strugglers", who represent almost a third of the middle class, are more likely to struggle with unemployment and money issues, the poll shows.

Celebrities who participants deemed as middle class included Kate Middleton, Andrew Marr, Lily Allen, Twiggy, Helen Mirren and Daniel Radcliffe.


From Belfast Telegraph