The winds of economic changes in our country are constantly blowing and shifting. We’re now 10 years out of the Great Recession of last decade, and while some are still struggling, the latest economic data shows a robust recovery.
So where do you fit into the current economic snapshot of our nation?
Check out Pew’s middle-class calculator
There’s a whole host of new data points to suggest that not only is the economy booming, but the growth is being felt across many different layers of economic strata — not just at the top.
Consider this: According to newly released Census data, the poverty rate in 2017 declined for the third year in a row, down to 12.3%.
To put that in context, 22.4% of Americans lived in poverty when the poverty measure was first established in 1959.
Meanwhile, other new Census data also shows the median household income in 2017 was $61,372, widely believed to be the highest on record since 1967.
Editor’s note: There is some debate about that last claim because of a change in the way income questions were phrased four years ago, but we’ll leave that pointy-headed dissension to the statisticians!
No matter what political camp you’re in, the hard data would seem to suggest a trend line of robust economic growth. And we haven’t even mentioned the historically low unemployment rate we’re currently seeing.
Of course, whether or not all the growth and economic glad tidings can be sustained is anybody’s guess. But that’s not the point of this article!
Rather, the point is to let you know about a new free tool put together by the Pew Research Center that can give you some insight into where you fit in the bigger economic picture of our nation.
You simply enter your state, select your metro area, enter your household income before taxes and select how many people you have in your household. Then Pew crunches the latest available data and adjusts for the cost of living in your area to tell you if you’re in the middle-income tier in your metro area and the United States.
Beyond that, you can also compare yourself to others in the U.S. by entering your education, age, race/ethnicity and marital status.
Pew Research Center says it won’t store or share any of the information you enter into its tool.
Meanwhile, the latest Pew analysis of 2016 government data shows that 52% of Americans lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households.