The 1995 No 2 hit has inspired a ballet and several cover versions, including one by Star Trek actor William Shatner.
It saw off competition from other memorable hits including Blur's Parklife and Wonderwall by Oasis to top the poll after more than 30,000 fans voted.
Steve Lamacq, who ran the poll on his 6 Music show as part of the Britpop at the BBC season, said: "I'm really pleased Common People has won the vote.
"It is one of the defining records of Britpop because it seemed to embrace the essence of the time.
"It was a big, bold anthem, but with a great narrative. And it seemed to sum up a feeling of 'us and them' as if to illustrate how the indie mavericks had taken on the pop stars and for once, they'd won."
The song, inspired by frontman Jarvis Cocker's encounter with a student at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design in London, featured on the band's album Different Class.
The top 10 was made up by Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve; Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis; Wonderwall by Oasis; Parklife by Blur; Animal Nitrate by Suede; Girls & Boys by Blur; Slight Return by The Bluetones; Disco 2000 by Pulp; and Girl From Mars by Ash
The full top 30 can be seen at www.bbc.co.uk/Britpop