While the current economic recession did not begin until December 2007, the eight years prior were in no way a boom to the typical American household. Analysis of Census Bureau data finds that inflation-adjusted median household income — arguably the best single measure of the middle class standard of living — has remained at or below its 1999 peak in every year since then. This eight-year period is the longest in modern U.S. economic history in which inflation-adjusted median household income failed to surpass an earlier peak. However, looking back to 1970, this key indicator has done much better over a longer time frame. These data support the opinions of middle-class Americans: A 2008 Pew Research survey found that while middle-class Americans believe they have a higher standard of living than their parents did, a 56%-majority feel they have not made any economic progress in the past five years. Read More
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
We need to confirm your email address.
To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.