“The Middle Class Is No Longer America’s Economic Majority” – HuffPost Business:
There are now more low-income and high-income Americans combined than there are people in the middle class, a study released Wednesday found.
According to a Pew Research Center report, there were 120.8 million adults living in middle-income households and 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined in early 2015, marking the first time in the center’s four decades of tracking this data that the size of the latter groups has transcended that of the first.
The study defines middle income as adults earning two-thirds to double the national median, which translates today to somewhere between $42,000 and $126,000 a year for a three-person household.
One caveat to the narrative is that while the low-income grew 4 points since 1971, the high income share grew by 7. So off the 11 points lost from the middle class, a majority actually exited the top (oddly enough), rather than sinking below:
Since 1971, the percentage of adults living in the low income bracket has increased from 25 percent to 29 percent, and the percentage of adults living in the highest income bracket has shot up from 14 percent to 21 percent. The middle class, meanwhile, has shrunk from 61 percent to about 50.
Of course, mostly the story is that the existing rich just got way richer, very fast.