According to Pew, middle class is shrinking whereas upper and lower classes are growing.
But one doesn’t need to be Pifia to see the obvious. The country is polarizing. Earlier this year, 75% of Philadelphia surrounding neighborhoods showed decrease in the mean income. Even Main Line (elite area) has shown a 7% drop in median income.
Americans have been long living in the country with the majority being middle class. But it is the first time in the history that the share of middle class has dropped below (slightly) 50%. This figure continued to decline relentlessly since 1971, when the middle class accounted for slightly less than two thirds of the population.
Actual Income Class Distribution
According to NPR, 120,8 million adults belong to the group with an average income, and 121,3 million adults belong to the lower and higher income groups. But the middle class income is also declining. Compared to 2000, they have dropped by 4%. In 2008-2009, 8.7 million jobs were cut in the USA with an average income of 61500 dollars a year. Those jobs were later made available again but an average income dropped to 47000 dollars a year. And this makes more than 20% difference for those who have lost their jobs and recovered them again later.
Surprisingly enough, but the number of people in upper class has grown in higher proportion than of those in lower class. Especially with people over 65 years old. They have improved their performance by 27% during these years. Couples without children and Afro-Americans also show significant improvements.
Upper class mean income has grown by 47% up to 174600 USD since 1970 to 2014. Middle class mean income has grown by 34% – up to 73400 USD. And the lower class mean income has grown by 28% up to 24074 USD.
Now upper class controls 49% of aggregate national income compared to 29% back in 1970. The rich become richer indeed.