Sep. 20, 2012

Where the Public Stands on Government Assistance, Taxes and the Presidential Candidates

When the national conversation focuses on class, the social safety net and the distribution of wealth as it has in the past week, the public sees clear differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and Obama has an overall advantage. People are more likely to say Obama’s policies would help the middle class and poor, […]

Sep. 20, 2012

Revising the Past, Using 2010 Census Data

Every decade, new information from the decennial census is used to update a wide range of government demographic estimates and survey benchmarks. In some cases, that results in revisions to previously published data, which researchers need to note.

Sep. 20, 2012

News Coverage of 2011 Census Data: It’s the Economy

The Census Bureau released 2011 American Community Survey data today, and this posting looks at news coverage about the newly released estimates. Most coverage focused on economic indicators, with some stories saying the economy was still declining but others concluding the decline may have bottomed out.

Sep. 12, 2012

Americans’ Views about Poverty and Economic Well-Being

The Pew Research Center has published a number of recent reports that are relevant to the new Census Bureau numbers for the 2011 poverty rate, median household income and people without health insurance. This posting lists and links to reports about Americans’ attitudes toward their own economic circumstances and views on helping the poor, as well as analysis and explanation about poverty and economic well-being.

Sep. 12, 2012

A Recovery No Better than the Recession

The median income of American households decreased by as much in the two years after the official end of the Great Recession as it did during the recession itself. The latest estimates from the Census Bureau show that the median income for U.S. households in 2011 was $50,054.1 In 2009, the year the Great Recession […]

Sep. 10, 2012

A Third of Americans Now Say They Are in the Lower Classes

The percentage of Americans who say they are in the lower-middle or lower class has risen from a quarter of the adult population to about a third in the past four years, according to a national survey of 2,508 adults by the Pew Research Center. Not only has the lower class grown, but its demographic […]

Sep. 6, 2012

Americans Feel No Better or Worse Off in the Obama Years; Politics Colors Views of Recession’s Toll

Americans do not rate their personal finances any better –or worse – than they did when Barack Obama took office nearly four years ago. And while income is a major factor in people’s views of their personal finances, so too is their partisan affiliation. The Pew Research Center has been tracking personal financial well-being for […]

Aug. 27, 2012

Yes, the Rich Are Different

As Republicans gather for their national convention in Tampa to nominate a presidential candidate known, in part, as a wealthy businessman, a new nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds that many Americans believe the rich are different than other people. They are viewed as more intelligent and more hardworking but also greedier and less honest. […]

Aug. 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.

Aug. 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 […]