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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Any Tickets For Upper Middle Class?

What Does It take to Be Upper Middle Class?

What's left unsaid is much of the upper middle class is prospering due to privileged positions that are increasingly at risk of disruption.

What does it take to be upper middle class? According to one analyst, the answer is: at least $100,000 a year for a family of three. The Growing Size and Incomes of the Upper Middle Class (Urban Institute).
The paper claims the upper middle class has grown from 12.9% of the population in 1979 to 29.4% in 2014--in essence, the shrinkage of the "middle class" is not just from households dropping down the ladder but millions of households climbing up to the upper middle class.
While the evidence broadly supports this secular shift--the concentration of income and wealth in the top 20% increases while the wealth and income of the bottom 80% stagnates--I think the claim that 30% of all U.S. households are upper middle class grossly overstates the reality, which is it's become increasingly costly to even qualify as middle class, never mind upper middle class.
I've explored these topics in depth over the past few years:

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