Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Growing Upper Middle Class

In the post-recession era, there has arisen the notion that only the wealthiest of U.S. society, generally called the top 1 percent, was truly doing well. But a growing body of evidence suggests the economic expansion since the 2007-2009 financial crisis has enriched a much larger swath of the upper middle class as well.

The latest piece of evidence comes from economist Stephen Rose of the Urban Institute, who finds in new research that the upper middle class in the U.S. is larger and richer than it’s ever been. Rose defines the upper middle class as any household earning $100,000 to $350,000 for a family of three: at least double the U.S. median household income and about five times the poverty level.

Rose finds the upper middle class, under those parameters, has expanded to a new record of nearly 30 percent of American households as of 2014. That is up from about 12 percent of the population in 1979.

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