I found a New York Times article on to measure your relative position in prestige, education, income and wealth. Sounds fun so here are my numbers.

  • Occupation: 82th percentile. This is based on a survey of what random people in America thinks is the most prestigious. For someone that frequently get blank stares when I tell them what I do I find this hard to believe. Someone driving a Saturn gets more accolade than I do.
  • Education: 99th percentile. It’s true. I needed more schooling than 99% of everybody else before I could enter society as a productive member. However, this is counting degrees only which I think is the wrong way to measure skills and knowledge. Some people pump and dump their brains while others learn things without getting a degree. I would say class-wise that people who went through the grad school experience are in a class of their own e.g. the “How many PhDs does it take to screw in a light bulb”-class(*) 🙂
  • Income: 84th percentile. I got a big bump up the scale from my most recent position. I’m not including investment income or side income which would bump this to 88%. Four years ago I was below 40%. Of course this depends on where you live. Sitting at 88 is not that impressive around here.
  • Wealth: 85th percentile. I do think I too a large extend identify with other wealthy people even though I have far less than what the middle class considers wealthy. I think we do share an attitude of where money comes from e.g. savings and investing and not a paycheck. I am quite surprised that I am at this level though. I think this says more about the 85% than it does about me. People should save more. Of course being “up there” does not bring any prestige. Driving luxury cars and living in big houses does.
  • Average: 88th percentile – it’s the arithmetic average of apples and oranges.

(*) Just in case you were wondering. It takes only one PhD to screw in a light bulb, but it may take 3 or 4 tries to get it right.

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