The Middle Class Is Disappearing

Few Americans consider themselves to be middle class anymore. Did the recession kill the dream?

Dan Demeglio, race and sports book supervisor, cashes a 200-to-1 future bet for Doug O'Neill, trainer of Kentucky Derby winner "I'll Have Another", at the Primm Valley Casino in Primm, Nevada June 25, 2012. O'Neill won $20,000 for his $100 bet, which he made in February, that the horse would win the Kentucky Derby. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING) - RTR345CF — REUTERS
Apr 30, 2015 at 1:52 PM ET

The middle class is having an identity crisis. Regardless of income, education, politics or age, fewer people than ever think of themselves as the middle class, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The percentage of Americans who identified themselves as middle class declined nearly every year since 2000, while the percentage of those who thought of themselves as lower class has increased fivefold from 3 to 15 percent from 2000 to 2015, according to the poll conducted last month.

The term “middle class” is subjective; people who make anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000 identify themselves as members of it, the Wall Street Journal pointed out. Considering the large range, identifying as middle class is more about perception than anything else. Hillary Clinton has avoided using the term “middle class” in her campaign for the White House, replacing it with the term “everyday Americans,” perhaps because her advisors know that the term “middle class” doesn’t resonate with as many people in anymore.

Read More

The Shrinking American Middle Class (The New York Times)

What Is The Middle Class, Anyway? (The Wall Street Journal)