I found this article at MarketWatch by Brent Arends about the shrinking U. S. middle class and anxiety over the same interesting, too. In it he has some useful information, for example, a definition of “middle class”:
The “middle class,” counted as people earning between 75% and 200% of the median income in each country, has shrunk since the mid 1980s from 64% to 60% of the population of richer countries.
61% of Americans were middle class by that definition in 1971 and 51% are now. The situation for millennials in their 20s is sharply different than it was for Baby Boomers when they were in their 20s. I can’t help but wonder whether that reflects economic or demographic change or both.
Here’s the conclusion of the piece:
“The recent stability in the share of adults living in middle-income households marks a shift from a decades-long downward trend,” he added. “From 1971 to 2011, the share of adults in the middle class fell by 10 percentage points. But that shift was not all down the economic ladder.”
I don’t find that encouraging. Maybe I’m perverse but a society congealing into an upper class, a lower class, and a struggling middle class, e.g. Mexico, considerably delineated by race, is not what I wanted or expected when I was in my 20s.