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How America's Middle Class Compares to Europe's

The U.S. middle class is smaller, but richer. Still, income inequality is rising faster in Europe.
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Pew Research Center

American pundits and politicians love to contemplate the state of the American middle class, but we rarely get a sense of how it compares to the middle classes in other countries. A new report from the Pew Research Center sheds some light on this, revealing an American middle class that is notably smaller—but richer—than its equivalents across Western Europe.

Using data from Luxembourg’s Cross-National Data Center, the report paints a surprisingly complex picture of the progress of U.S. and EU middle-income earners from 1991 to 2010.