STAT OF THE WEEK: Stuck in the Middle With You?

30 Aug

Last week, the Pew Research Center released a report called “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class.” Among the survey’s findings:

•  Fully 85% of self-described middle-class adults say it’s more difficult now than a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. (According to the report, 62% of this group say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54% say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47% about large corporations, 44% about the Bush administration, 39% about foreign competition and 34% about the Obama administration. Just 8% blame the middle class itself a lot.)

• For the first time since the end of World War II, mean family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers, but the middle-income tier — defined by Pew as all persons whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national median — is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued during the past four decades, the research center reported.

• In that 40-year span, the middle-class income tier has gone from 61% of all adults to 51% in 2011, according to Pew, which labeled the trend a “hollowing out of the middle class.”



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