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The share of adults in middle-income households in Midland decreased from 53% in 2000 to 43% in 2014, the fourth-largest drop in the nation.But this was accompanied by rapid growth in the share of adults in upper-income households in Midland, which doubled from 18% in 2000 to 37% in 2014. households in 2014 stood at 8% less than in 1999, a reminder that the economy has yet to fully recover from the effects of the Great Recession of 2007-09.With relatively fewer Americans in the middle-income tier, the economic tiers above and below have grown in significance over time.The share of adults in upper-income households increased in 172 of the 229 metropolitan areas, even as the share of adults in lower-income households rose in 160 metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014.Among American adults overall, including those from outside the 229 areas examined in depth, the share living in middle-income households fell from 55% in 2000 to 51% in 2014. The decline was pervasive, with median incomes falling in 190 of 229 metropolitan areas examined.Reflecting the accumulation of changes at the metropolitan level, the nationwide share of adults in lower-income households increased from 28% to 29% and the share in upper-income households rose from 17% to 20% during the period. Our new calculator lets you find out which group you are in – first compared with other adults in your metropolitan area and among American adults overall, and then compared with other adults in the U. similar to you in education, age, race or ethnicity, and marital status. Goldsboro ranked near the bottom with a loss of 26% in median income.That is the maximum number of areas that could be identified in the Census Bureau data used for the analysis and for which data are available for both 20 (an accompanying text box provides more detail).

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The decline of the middle class is a reflection of rising income inequality in the U. Generally speaking, middle-class households are more prevalent in metropolitan areas where there is less of a gap between the incomes of households near the top and the bottom ends of the income distribution.

The shifting economic fortunes of localities were not an either/or proposition: Some 108 metropolitan areas experienced growth in both the lower- and upper-income tiers.

The possibility that a shrinking of the middle class may signal a movement into either the lower-income tier or the upper-income tier is exemplified by the experiences of Goldsboro, NC, and Midland, TX—one community buffeted by broader economic forces and the other buttressed by them.

From 2000 to 2014 the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U. metropolitan areas examined in a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring 6 percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a 4-point drop nationally.

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