(Business New Europe – bne.eu – April 5, 2013) The middleclass in Russia grew by about 1 percentage point annually from 2004 to 2011 and now makes up about 18.9% of society, while the share of government officials and silovikis, a Russian term referring to political entities in the military or security spheres, usually former officers of the KGB and FSB, among other organizations, grew by 33%, and now makes up 20% of the total population, Vedomosti business newspaper reported on Thursday, citing research conducted by the Independent Institute for Social Policy (IISP).
According to the survey, in 2007, 25% of silovikis and bureaucrats had a chance of entering the middleclass four years after being hired by state companies or military forces. In 2011, 44% become middleclass in the same timeframe.
Under the conditions of survey, a person must comply with at least three of four criteria to be considered middleclass. A person must: have monthly earnings of at least 30,000 rubles for each member of his or her family; have sufficient living space, meaning a room in a house or apartment for each family member; have at least several luxury items, for instance, a car produced abroad or a tablet; and have a degree of higher education and a permanent skilled occupation.
The institute said that, taking only salaries into consideration, 28% of Russian families are middleclass.