Report explores why rising to middle class or staying there is so hard by Jerry Large

Report explores why rising to middle class or staying there is so hard by Jerry Large

Ongoing economic reports strive to explain who thrives and who struggles in the U.S. economy as a step toward spreading economic success.

A colleague sent me a link to a new report about American families that I’d like to share with you. It’s from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and it’s called “The Demographics of Wealth.”

That’s a topic that matters around here, where lines between rich and poor have sharpened in King County, and Seattle is increasingly becoming a city of well-off people.

Our community reflects the country’s growing economic inequality.

The St. Louis Fed created its Center for Household Financial Stability two years ago to study issues related to family finances and “to research and strengthen the balance sheets of struggling American families.”

The center studied more than 40,000 families in detail, looking at income and wealth using data gathered by the Fed from 1989 to 2013. The researchers also collected information that helps make sense of that data, going beyond the usual practice of relying on economic statistics to tell the whole story.

They looked at families where the head of household was black, Hispanic, white or Asian, and divided them into three age clusters, under 40, 40-61 and 62 or older. They were also sorted by education level.

Researchers identified three main groups: thrivers, middle class and stragglers.

Read the full article at: Seattle Times

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