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The Disappearing Middle Class


Mike Earl, CFP®, CPWA®



From Mark Perry, scholar at American Enterprise Institute:

“Yes, the ‘middle-class is disappearing’ as we hear all the time, but it’s because middle-income households in the US are gradually moving up to higher income groups, and not down into lower-income groups

In 1967, only 9% of US households (only 1 in 11) earned $100,000 or more (in 2017 dollars). 

In 2017, more than 1 in 4 US households (29.2%) were in that high-income category, a new record high. In other words, over the last half-century, the share of US households earning incomes of $100,000 or more (in 2017 dollars) has more than tripled! 

At the same time, the share of middle-income households earning $35,000 to $100,000 (in 2017 dollars) has decreased over time, from more than half of US households in 1967 (53.8%) to less than half (only 41.3%) in 2017. 

Likewise, the share of low-income households earning $35,000 or less (in 2017 dollars) has decreased from more than one-third of households in 1967 (37.2%) to below one-third of US households last year (29.5%), a near-record low.”