There isn’t one American middle class; there are four. Each is different from the others in its attitudes, outlook and financial circumstance—sometimes in ways that defy traditional stereotypes of the middle class.
America’s baby boomers are in a collective funk. Members of the large generation born from 1946 to 1964 are more downbeat about their lives than are adults who are younger or older.
When it comes to anxiety about family finances, an old truism applies: Where you stand depends on where you sit. Or, more precisely, on where your house or apartment sits.
Most Americans say they’re not saving as much as they should — but they’re apparently not worried enough to do much about it.
Only 13% of adults say it’s “very important” for them to be wealthy, ranking this personal priority far behind six others measured in a new survey .
At a time when the American economy is trending down and the unemployment rate is ticking up, one out of every seven U.S. workers fear they will be laid off in the next 12 months.
Americans feel stuck in their tracks. A majority of survey respondents say that in the past five years, they either haven’t moved forward in life or have fallen backward.
If current trends continue, the population of the United States will rise to 438 million in 2050, from 296 million in 2005, and 82% of the increase will be due to immigrants arriving from 2005 to 2050 and their U.S.-born descendants.
While blacks and Hispanics hold broadly favorable views of each other, Hispanics are less likely to say the two groups get along well. At the same time, African Americans are far more likely than Latinos to say blacks are frequently the victims of racial discrimination.
Race, ethnicity and politics can sometimes make for a volatile mix, as the presidential field of 2008 has begun to discover. But in the world beyond politics, race relations in this country are on a pretty even keel.