Where Is the Middle Class? What Is the Middle Class?

The middle class is shrinking; according to a recent study by the PEW Research Center, it is shrinking so much that it’s disappearing in some US metropolitan areas. In conjunction with this phenomena, Americans seem to have less consensus about what income ranges comprise the middle class.

This week, PBS reported on the findings of a recent study, as did The New York Times.

See the charts comparing the economic composition of those metro areas with the starkest declines in the middle class and the highest increases in lower and upper classes.

FYI for those living in Atlantic County, New Jersey: the Atlantic City to Hammonton area is included in the top 100 metropolitan areas experiencing marked decrease in the middle class (for the purposes of this study, defined as family income between $42,000 to $125,000) coupled with corresponding increases in lower and upper class incomes.


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