Rakesh Kochhar is a senior researcher at Pew Research Center. He is an expert on trends in employment, income and wealth. His research has focused on the American and global middle classes and the economic well-being of white, black, Hispanic, Asian and immigrant workers. Prior to joining Pew Research Center, he was senior economist at Joel Popkin and Company, where he served as a consultant to government agencies, private firms, international agencies and labor unions. Kochhar received his doctorate in economics from Brown University. He has appeared on numerous media outlets, including NPR, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. He has testified before Congress and regularly speaks at professional, academic and business conferences.
Are you in the American middle class?
A Pew Research Center analysis of government data shows that after more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the U.S. middle class is now matched in size by those in the economic tiers above and below it.
Are you in the American middle class? Find out with our income calculator
About half of American adults lived in middle-income households in 2016. Find out which income group you’re in with our newly updated calculator.
The American middle class is stable in size, but losing ground financially to upper-income families
While the size of the U.S. middle class remained relatively stable between 2002 and 2016, financial gains for middle-income Americans were modest compared with those of higher-income households.
Income Inequality in the U.S. Is Rising Most Rapidly Among Asians
The gap in the standard of living between Asians near the top and the bottom of the income ladder nearly doubled from 1970 to 2016. Amid rising inequality overall, Asians displaced blacks as the most economically divided major U.S. racial or ethnic group.
Key findings on the rise in income inequality within America’s racial and ethnic groups
Income inequality nearly doubled among Asians in the U.S. from 1970 to 2016. Sizable income gaps persist across racial and ethnic groups, a new study finds.
Incomes of whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians in the U.S., 1970 and 2016
The charts below show the distributions of white, black, Hispanic and Asian adults in the U.S. by their incomes in 1970 and 2016.
How wealth inequality has changed in the U.S. since the Great Recession, by race, ethnicity and income
In the U.S., the racial and ethnic wealth gap has evolved differently for families at different income levels since the Great Recession.
Latino unemployment rate is back at historic low
The unemployment rate for U.S. Hispanics hit 4.7% in the second quarter of 2017. However, U.S. Latinos have not fully recovered from the Great Recession.
Through an American lens, Western Europe’s middle classes appear smaller
The American middle class is smaller than middle classes across Western Europe, but its income is higher.
Are you middle class in Western Europe? Try our country-by-country income calculators
As part of a new study, Pew Research Center designed income calculators to help you determine where you fit on the income ladder in Western Europe.