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The Middle Class Is Shrinking Just Ask Uncle Sam


Economic Trends

THE MIDDLE CLASS IS SHRINKING--JUST ASK UNCLE SAM

In the past two decades, more people moved into both the lower and upper ranges of income. Thats the conclusion of a new Census Bureau report that looks at the number of individuals who live in low-income households (those persons with less than half the median income, adjusted for family size) and in richer households (with incomes at least twice the median level).

From 1969 to 1989, the low-income proportion of the population grew from 17.9% to 22.1%, and the high-income group rose from 10.9% to 14.7%. While the percentages of whites in the low- and high-income groups in 1989 were similar18.8% and 16%, respectivelyincome distribution among blacks and Hispanics was far more skewed. Only 5% had high incomes relative to the U.S. median of $37,152 for a family of four, while 40% to 44% had low incomes.GENE KORETZ


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