A report released by the Pew Research Center shows that America’s middle class is no longer the majority in the United States, and now stands at 50 percent. That marks an 11 percent drop since 1971.
That’s bad news, especially considering that 29 percent of American households now fall into the lower tier, four percent more than in 1971. However, over the same period the number of Americans who are in the upper-earning tier has risen to 21 percent, an increase of seven percent.
But for those still in the middle, things are not looking good:
…middle-income Americans have fallen further behind financially in the new century. In 2014, the median income of these households was 4 percent less than in 2000. Moreover, because of the housing market crisis and the Great Recession of 2007-09, their median wealth (assets minus debts) fell by 28 percent from 2001 to 2013.
Pew defines the upper tier as a household making more than double the nation’s median income. Adjusted for a family of three, that’s at least $126,000 a year. The lower tier is described as a household making less than two-thirds of the nation’s median income, which adjusted for a family of three means less than $42,000 a year. The middle class is defined as a household making between two-thirds and double the overall median household income. Adjusted for a family of three, that comes to anywhere between $42,000 to $126,000.