Consumer Insights

Shrinking Middle Class Among Top 2016 Findings

‘Tis the season to reflect on the year that’s about to end, and that’s exactly what Pew Research Center did with its list of 16 “striking findings from 2016,” which looked at everything from the status of the middle class in America to the growth of millennials to become the largest generation ever. With that in mind, here are the top three findings from that list that impacted America the most in 2016, according to Pew.

It’s no secret the middle class has been shrinking in America, but during 2016, Pew Research found that more pronounced with the middle class shrinking in pretty much every metropolitan area in the U.S. According to Pew, from 2000 to 2014, the share of middle-income adults declined in 203 of the 229 cities examined by Pew Research Center.

“The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring six percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a four-point drop nationally,” Pew wrote. “However, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased more than the share of adults in the lower-income tier in 119 of the 229 areas examined.”

For the first time ever, America has a president-elect that has never held a public office, but it’s not only Donald Trump that is reshaping the Democratic and Republican parties. According to Pew, during 2016, demographic changes taking place in the country have reshaped the face of both parties. Take the Democratic Party for starters. Pew said it’s becoming less white, less religious and better educated at a faster rate than the country. Republicans are becoming much more diverse, better educated and less religious at a slower rate than the country in general, Pew found.

Move over baby boomers, you no longer hold the mantle as the largest generation, with millennials surpassing their older brethren this year. According to Pew, millennials now number 75.4 million, becoming the country’s largest living generation. The shift is most pronounced among Hispanics, with Pew finding close to six in 10 Hispanics are millennials or younger. In 2016, millennials made up close to half of all eligible Latino voters. Rounding out the top five findings for 2016 were young people being more likely to live with their parents than a spouse or partner and nearly one in 100 people around the globe now being displaced from their homes.


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