Pew Research Center | Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier – The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier – The Lost Decade of the Middle Class


As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future.

These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that includes 1,287 adults who describe themselves as middle class, supplemented by the Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Fully 85% of self-described middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. Of those who feel this way, 62% say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54% say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47% about large corporations, 44% about the Bush administration, 39% about foreign competition and 34% about the Obama administration. Just 8% blame the middle class itself a lot.


Full report below…



Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier – The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

2 Responses to “Pew Research Center | Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier – The Lost Decade of the Middle Class”
  1. Sarah says:

    Of course, PEW is not without conflict of interest. Any organization that relies on funding sources will be disinclined to implicate these same sources directly, through any study. The middle class has been getting hammered for decades, the poor are fairing much worse. That said – the effort shows what was known, at the very least, anecdotally, especially if you’re getting tossed out of your house. Just think of how much that house was worth 15 years ago – did your salary go up that much? I wish PEW would do a study of how much basic needs, like a roof over one’s head, are now completely out of reach for even the middle class. They are out of reach because the money being made is more important than the need.

  2. Pamela Edwards says:

    I don’t think we need a report to tell any of us exactly how hard it is and was.Most of us have expierenced the hardships first hand and have been on the front lines since the begining and are still there .Good read but if you’ve lived it you could probably write your own book on it.I think the picture says more than words could ever describe.This is the way that millions have lived and are living and will be living over the next several years.Our children are living it everyday and will live it in some context for the rest of thier lives.Theysay”what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.I’m pretty sure by now most of us feel like we are He Man,but the battle for alot of us has just begun.Love your fellow man and try to help where you can.

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