ReportsAugust 31, 2012

Public Says a Secure Job Is the Ticket to the Middle Class

Americans believe that having a secure job is by far the most important requirement for being in the middle class, easily trumping homeownership and a college education, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center survey of 2,508 adults. Nearly nine-in-ten adults (86%) say a person needs a secure job to be considered part of […]

All Things CensusAugust 22, 2012

Middle-Income Economics and Middle-Class Attitudes

This posting describes and links to a new report, “The Lost Decade of the Middle Class,” that combines income data from the Census Bureau, wealth data from the Survey of Consumer Finances and findings from a new survey to paint a portrait of diminished finances and muted hopes.

Multi-section ReportsAugust 22, 2012

The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

Chapter 1: Overview As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith […]

InteractivesAugust 22, 2012

Video: Lost Decade of the Middle Class

Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth and shed some — but by no means all– of its characteristic faith in the future. Our new report explores how middle-class Americans view themselves, as well as their outlook on the future and on the presidential candidates who are […]

All Things CensusAugust 2, 2012

The Middle Class Shrinks and Income Segregation Rises

A new Pew Research Center report shows that the share of upper-income households living in neighborhoods that are mainly upper income has risen from 1980 to 2010, as has the share of lower-income households living in neighborhoods where most other households are lower income. Income segregation also has grown in most of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

ReportsMarch 26, 2009

Before the Great Recession, a Phantom Recovery

The eight-year period from 1999 through 2007 is the longest in modern U.S. economic history in which inflation-adjusted median household income failed to surpass an earlier peak.

Multi-section ReportsMarch 26, 2009

Testimony of Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President, Pew Research Center to the Senate Finance Committee

Comments on a report that combines findings of one of our major national public opinion surveys with the Center’s analysis of four decades of demographic and economic trends from the Census Bureau and other sources.

Multi-section ReportsJuly 29, 2008

America’s Four Middle Classes

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.

ReportsMay 29, 2008

The Middle Class Blues

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.

Multi-section ReportsApril 9, 2008

Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life

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.