Fewer Americans now self identify as ‘middle class’



What do years of stagnant wages, declining labor force participation, and job polarization (more jobs at the skill extremes, fewer in the middle) produce? Fewer people who consider themselves middle class, as the above Pew Research poll shows. (Thanks to Brookings’ Richard Reeves for the pointer.)

In 2008, 72% of Americans considered themselves “middle class (53%) or upper-middle class (19%). Now just 57% consider themselves “middle class” (44%) or “upper-middle class” (13%) Meanwhile, the number who see themselves as “lower-middle class” or “lower class” has risen to 40% from 25%.

Follow James Pethokoukis on Twitter at @JimPethokoukis, and AEIdeas at @AEIdeas.

3 thoughts on “Fewer Americans now self identify as ‘middle class’

  1. This contradicts a chart posted by Mark Perry some time ago based on Census Bureau data, that the lower income group is relatively stable over 40 years at roughly 17 to 20% of households. This chart also showed that the percentage of middle income households fell by the same percentage that upper income households rose.
    The data on the chart is from 1967 through 2010. I forget when Dr. Perry posted that article.

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