According to the Pew research organization, the American middle class continues to shrink. In a recent report, Pew declared, "The share of American adults in middle-income households also decreased, from 55% in 2000 to 51% in 2014."  The Pew Research Center report said,  "At the same time, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased from 17% to 20%."
The report indicates that to qualify as a denizen of the middle class, household income should be from two-thirds to double the national median income ($55,775 as of 2016). "The income it takes to be middle-income varies by household size, with smaller households requiring less to support the same lifestyle as larger households," Pew explains.
Here's the breakdown of how much you have to earn each year to qualify as middle-income, depending on the size of your family:
Household of one: $24,042 to $72,126
Household of two: $34,000 to $102,001
Household of three: $41,641 to $124,925
Household of four: $48,083 to $144,251
Household of five: $53,759 to $161,277

Excerpt: "A distinct geographical pattern emerges with respect to which metropolitan areas had the highest shares of adults who were lower income, middle income or upper income in 2014. The 10 metropolitan areas with the greatest shares of middle-income adults are located mostly in the Midwest. Wausau, WI, where 67% of adults lived in middle-income households in 2014, had the distinction of leading the country on this basis, followed closely by Janesville-Beloit, WI (65%). Sheboygan, WI, and four other Midwest areas also placed among the top 10 middle-income areas. Beyond a shared geography, the top 10 middle-income metropolitan areas are more rooted in manufacturing than the nation overall. Elkhart-Goshen, IN, for example, derived 56% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 from the manufacturing sector alone. Likewise, the manufacturing sector’s share was 40% in Sheboygan, WI, and more than 20% in Wausau, WI, Lebanon, PA, Ogden-Clearfield, UT, and Kankakee, IL. Overall, manufacturing accounted for only 12% of the nation’s GDP in 2014."

Metropolitan areas with the highest shares of middle-income adults in 2014 are mostly in the Midwest



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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