Social Stratification in the United States

The American Profile Poster of Who Owns What, Who Makes How Much, and Who Works Where

The must-have new edition of the classic book-and-poster set, based on the most recent census data, depicting who owns what, who makes how much, who works where, and who lives with whom

“Ingenious design. . . . A bleak, statistically meticulous, and even-tempered presentation of trends that ought to alarm anyone.” —The New York Times Book Review

Generations of teachers, union organizers, and activists have relied on this book-and-poster set, originally published in 1979, to illustrate the magnitude of America’s growing economic divide. Today, income inequality is at an all-time high, and this completely updated eighth edition, drawn from the 2020 Current Population Survey of the U.S. Census, brings together fresh primary data to provide a clear picture of the U.S. social structure and the considerable demographic and economic changes of the past four decades.

Folded inside the companion booklet, the removable poster depicts color-coded figures that make it possible to compare social groups at a glance and to understand how income distribution relates to race, sex, education, and occupation. With charts and careful explanations, the booklet contextualizes and expands on the poster.

Rose’s graphic depiction of the census data makes clear at a glance complex concepts, including the way recent economic growth has been skewed toward the wealthiest households, that a gender gap persists in the workplace, and that, on average, African Americans and Latinos still earn far less than other Americans. This new edition of a uniquely visual depiction of American society will be an essential resource and a touchstone for the current debates over education, inequality, poverty, and jobs in our country.


“Transforms the percentages and media figures you frequently hear into a form you can see and drawings you can grasp.”
New York Daily News
“There is a crippling lack of information . . . with regard to some of the basic facts of the American socioeconomic system. This attractive poster goes a long way toward remedying that deficiency.”
—Robert Heilbroner
“Sort of a Demographics 101 and Sociology 101 presented on a single large sheet of paper.”
San Francisco Examiner

News and Reviews

The Brian Lehrer Show

Stephen Rose appears on The Brian Lehrer Show discussing Social Stratification

Goodreads Reviews