The Shrinking American Middle Class

America’s Middle Class Is Getting Smaller

And it’s not just smaller — middle class incomes have stagnated..for decades. 

In 1971, 61 percent of all U.S. households earned between half and two-thirds the median income. By 2015, the share of households in this middle tier had dropped to 50 percent.  Plus our income between 1988 and 2015 only increased by $10,000.

When adjusted for inflation, the U.S. median household income is virtually the same as it was in the mid-1990s.

Although the median household income has stagnated, median home prices and rents exceed those prior to the Great Recession, 2007 and 2009. There is a widening gap between median household income and median home prices and rents.

Older America

The country’s population of older adults is growing fast. Most of us believe that the American households are made up of a nuclear family. But that’s incorrect… it’s single adults. 

  • By 2030, more than 1 in 5 people in the United States will be 65 or older — and by 2035, older adults are projected to outnumber children for the first time ever.
  • Most homes in the United States are not designed for aging in place. Many people will require solutions that respond to the changing physical and cognitive abilities.
  • Two increasingly popular trends that address the issue are multigenerational living and home-sharing, both provide on-site assistance and help ward off isolation.

Ask Yourself:

  • What sort of housing will you live in when you’re older and less mobile?
  • Will you be able to live in your current home?
  • Would you consider downsizing?
  • Would you be willing to share a home with friends? Or a tenant?

Surge in Single-Person Households

Divorce is the number one reason, and the trend is particularly true for women, who tend to outlive their spouses.

  • Nearly half, or 48 percent, of all American adults are single.
  • Single people living alone make up 28 percent of all households.
  • Both men and women are delaying marriage. In 1970, women first married at an average age of 20.8 years, men at 23.2. By the mid-2010s, that age had risen to 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men

Chances are, you’ve searched for housing while single. Was it difficult to find a suitable place to live? You may need to consider:

  • Have you thought about living with a roommate?
  • Do you prefer to live alone?
  • As housing costs rise, you may choose to get a roommate. 

Top states where single adults live

  1. States with the most singles 32 to 42 percent single population live in NM  MT  SD  KS  LA  MO  AL  OH  NY  WV  VT  RI
  2. States with the least singles 20 to 24 percent in CA and CO

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