How has the middle class changed?

The Pew article How the American middle class has changed in the past five decades by Rakesh Kochhar and Stella Sechopoulos (4/20/2022) has seven facts about changes in the middle class. Overall  though,

The share of adults who live in middle-class households fell from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2021, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

where middle class is defined as

In this analysis, “middle-income” adults in 2021 are those with an annual household income that was two-thirds to double the national median income in 2020, after incomes have been adjusted for household size, or about $52,000 to $156,000 annually in 2020 dollars for a household of three.

The chart here is from fact 4: Married adults and those in multi-earner households made more progress up the income ladder from 1971 to 2021 than their immediate counterparts.

Generally, partnered adults have better outcomes on a range of economic outcomes than the unpartnered. One reason is that marriage is increasingly linked to educational attainment, which bears fruit in terms of higher incomes.

The article includes a detailed methodology section.

 

 

 

About Thomas J. Pfaff

Thomas J. Pfaff is a Professor of Mathematics at Ithaca College. He created this website because he believes that sustainability, ranging from climate change to social justice, should be included in all courses whenever possible.

Check Also

How has maternal mortality rates changed?

The chart here is from the National Center for Health Statistics paper Maternal Mortality Rates …