Apr. 23, 2013

A Rise in Wealth for the Wealthy; Declines for the Lower 93%

During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau […]

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 […]

Aug. 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 […]

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 […]

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Aug. 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 […]

Sep. 24, 2010

One Recession, Two Americas

For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of hardships, usually in combination: a spell of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets, but for the other 45% of the country, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.

Jul. 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.

May. 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.

Apr. 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.

Nov. 13, 2007

Blacks See Growing Values Gap Between Poor and Middle Class

African Americans see a widening gulf between the values of middle class and poor blacks, and nearly four-in-ten say that because of the diversity within their community, blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race.