Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Tougher Times for the Middle Class

Even before the full extent of the current financial crisis was widely recognized, nearly eight-in-ten (79%) respondents in a Pew Research Center survey expressed the view that it is more difficult now than five years ago for people in the middle class to maintain their standard of living. Back in 1986, just 65% of the public felt this way. The current economic slowdown and uptick in prices have already been taking a bite out of the family budget. Slightly more than half of middle class respondents said they’ve had to tighten their belts in the past year. Roughly the same proportion expected to make more cutbacks in the year ahead, and a quarter said they expect to have trouble paying their bills.Read More