PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The number of Americans who say they’re middle class has dropped drastically in recent years.
That’s according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, which reveals that just 44% of Americans now call themselves middle class.
Meanwhile, 40% say they’re lower or lower-middle class – up 15% from 2008.
And this social shift wasn’t limited to the middle or lower class. Just 15% of those polled in 2014 said they’d call themselves upper or upper-middle class, down from 2008, when 21% reported being at the top of the social and economic ladder. And young adults were significantly more likely to put themselves in the lower or lower-middle class, with 49% reporting a downward shift in social status. That’s nearly double the amount who said the same in 2008.
The Pew Center says the latest poll reflects U.S. Census Bureau data, which showed the average household income decreased by 8% since the Great Recession began in 2007.
To see the poll results, click here.