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Thursday, April 12, 2018
PEW: Hawaii, Alaska More Middle Class Than Most
By Selected News Articles @ 5:18 PM :: 2602 Views :: Hawaii Statistics

In Most States, the Middle Class Is Now Growing — But Slowly

From PEW Charitable Trust, April 11, 2018 (excerpts)

After losing ground in 49 states — all but Wyoming — between 2000 and 2013, the U.S. middle class is slowly clawing its way back….

Since 2013, the middle class in most states has grown, but only in Alaska and Hawaii is it as large as it was in 2000.

In 38 states, a larger share of households were “middle class” — defined as earning between two-thirds and twice the state’s size-adjusted median household income — in 2016 than in 2013, according to a new Stateline analysis.

However, there’s still a lot of catching up to do: In 2016 there were 30 states where at least half of households were middle class, up from 28 in 2013 but still down from 43 states in 2000….

Chris Edwards, an economist at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the middle class has continued to do well this year because of rising wages and tax cuts for some workers, but at the expense of higher government spending that will come back to haunt it.

"My message to the middle class is, 'Enjoy it while you can,' because Washington is building up a pile of debt that's going to eventually land on the middle class by pushing taxes up," Edwards said.

Only Alaska and Hawaii had a larger share of middle-class households in 2016 than in 2000 — and in both cases, the increase was just two-tenths of a percentage point, to about 55 percent. Alaska and Hawaii are the two states with the lowest concentration of wealth in the top 1 percent, according to a 2015 study by economist Mark Frank at Sam Houston State University in Texas….

Note: For purposes of this analysis, Stateline defines "middle class" as those households earning between two-thirds and twice the state's size-adjusted median household income…. (but does not account for cost of living, which would take both Hawaii and Alaska down a few notches....)

read … Recovering 


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