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Where's Middle Class Wealth Going?


The middle class is “hollowing out,” according to the Pew Research Center—they make up only 43% of wealth in the US, down from 62% in 1971

Meanwhile, cash in wealthy households has gone from 29% to 49% over the same time. 

The middle class is actually increasing in number, meaning middle class families are poorer than they used to be. Their median wealth fell by 28% from 2001 to 2013, reports MarketWatch.

The increasing size means they have more voting power—that’s why "middle class" is such a buzzword with politicians. DC bureau chief Mark Hamrick says, “It’s the center, both politically and economically, that has the power to elect the president of the United States.”

Pew says “middle class” means two-thirds to double the median income, adjusted for family size. 

But many lower-income people actually think of themselves as middle class—making the political power of appealing to them even stronger. [MW]