Sikhs, Hindus now part of middle-class BritainDecember 14th, 2010 - 7:13 pm ICT by IANS
London, Dec 14 (IANS) “Long-established” Hindu and Sikh families in Britain are now being categorised as part of the country’s middle-class, according to a survey that also revealed the changing societal lifestyles.The lifestyle of a typical middle-class Briton was revealed in a research by Experian that was published Monday, the Daily Mail reported.
The researchers examined nationwide data ranging from income and housing type to favourite internet sites and shopping habits.
It identified over 400 social and economic factors to define middle-class Britain and produced a detailed picture of the country’s largest group, accounting for 13.1 million people, or one in five of the population.
The middle class has an average annual household income of 47,300 pounds, which is 10 percent higher than the national average.
However, the people who took part in the survey said they were worried about meeting mortgage payments, rising bills, reduced pension values and whether their children could afford to get on to the housing ladder.
Less than a third said they were “financially comfortable”.
The middle class’ expenditures were higher than the national average because of increased income tax and mortgage commitments.
Data about spending habits showed the average household spent 610 pounds per week on bills and shopping, with transport and groceries being the biggest expenditure.
The average middle class Briton is aged 36 to 45, and 40 percent have children, compared to a national average of 28 percent.
A majority own homes - 87 percent compared to the national average of 67 percent.
Around 88.5 percent have a garden in their home.
While just over half said they were happy with their standard of living, 57 percent said they struggled to find enough time and juggled work and family life.
Time pressure meant internet shopping was popular, with 50 percent saying they preferred to buy online.
Almost a third said they preferred to communicate using the internet rather than the telephone. Facebook was the second most popular site after search engine Google.
Middle class Britons are more likely to spend money on computers, technology and other gadgets, including high-definition television.
They spend more time at home than other groups, and enjoy watching sport, property programmes and science fiction shows. Time away from home includes going to the gym or cinema, and family trips to local parks.
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