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Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

Are you in the American middle class?

Our new calculator allows you to see which group you fit in, first compared with all American adults, and then compared with other adults similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status.

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016


Data Sources The data in the report are derived from the public-use versions of the 2000 decennial census and the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS). The 2000 decennial census public-use file is a 5% sample of the U.S. population. The ACS contains more than 3 million records, or about 1% of the U.S. population. It […]

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016


This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals: Rakesh Kochhar, Associate Director, Research Richard Fry, Senior Researcher Kim Parker, Director of Social Trends Research Claudia Deane, Vice President, Research Anna Brown, Research Assistant Michael Keegan, Information Graphics Designer Renee Stepler, Research Assistant Gustavo López, Research Assistant Danielle […]

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

Appendix B: Detailed tables and maps

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

Appendix A: References

Burkhauser, Richard V., Amy Crews Cutts, Mary C. Daly and Stephen P. Jenkins. 1999. “Testing the Significance of Income Distribution Changes Over the 1980s Business Cycle: A Cross-National Comparison.” Journal of Applied Econometrics, Vol. 14, No. 3. Cingano, Federico. 2014. “Trends in Income Inequality and its Impact on Economic Growth.” Paris, France: Organization for Economic […]

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

3. The middle class shrank and incomes fell in most metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014

The economic status of a metropolitan area in 2014 does not necessarily signal the direction of its journey. Midland, TX, led the nation in the share of the population that was upper income in 2014 because it benefited from a boom in global oil prices. But the sharp decline in oil prices since 2014 may […]

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

2. The relative size of income tiers and their financial status varied greatly across U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014

The share of adults who lived in lower-, middle- or upper-income households varied markedly across U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014. While 51% of American adults overall were in the middle-income tier in 2014, the share was as low as 42% in Monroe, LA, and as high as 67% in Wausau, WI. Differences in the shares […]

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

1. The American middle class loses ground nationally

The share of the American adult population that lives in middle-income households has fallen since 2000. The trend this century is the continuation of a long-running decline. An earlier analysis by the Pew Research Center, which looked at the period from 1971 to 2015, demonstrated that the middle class in the U.S. has been shrinking […]

Pew Research CenterMay 11, 2016

America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas

The American middle class is losing ground in metropolitan areas across the country, affecting communities from Boston to Seattle and from Dallas to Milwaukee.

Pew Research CenterFebruary 4, 2016

Most Americans Say Government Doesn’t Do Enough to Help Middle Class

As Americans begin casting the first ballots in the 2016 presidential election, neither political party is widely viewed as supportive of the middle class in this country.