The middle class has had it rough for a while. Politicians will debate for hours on topics ranging from the economy in general, to jobs and incomes across the country, playing into the frustrations of people at all economic levels.
But what is really happening in America today when it comes to the middle class?
The middle class keeps shrinking
According to new data from the Pew Research center, the middle class is indeed shrinking — and has been for decades.
A strong middle class is key to a strong economy — as job growth, income growth and other factors impact bigger economic growth by way of increased spending power, entrepreneurship and more.
According to Pew’s data, while Americans say some defining factors for being middle class include a secure job and the ability to save money, a surprising majority of people (69%) do not believe that a college education has much to do with being middle class — even though those who have a bachelor’s degree tend to earn significantly more than those who don’t. Additionally, a majority (57%) do not see home ownership as a defining factor for being middle class.
Are you in the middle class?
The Pew Research Center has a new calculator that will tell you where you stand economically based on household income and locality. So if you want to find out if you are a part of the middle class, take the quiz below!
Even if you’re not satisfied with where you are currently, there are things you can do to change your financial picture. Investing in education, applying for different jobs that pay better and comitting yourself to lifelong learning can help you take hold of opportunities whenever they come your way. Whether or not the economy rises or falls, you DO have a say in your financial future, and the choices you make matter when it comes to your finances!
If you want to change your financial picture, check out the below resources that may be able to help:
- Here are the 29 highest-paying entry level jobs in the U.S.
- Get a tech degree that lands you a job — or your money back!
- Highest paying 2-year degrees
- Best free resources for continuing education
- 6 free ways to learn how to code
- 10 high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree
Read more: How these 5 people escaped povertyâ€‹