Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

76 Percent Of American Middle-class Households Not Financially Secure

Date:
November 24, 2008
Source:
Brandeis University
Summary:
As the economy continues to reel, a new report finds that 4 million American households lost economic security between 2000 and 2006 and that a majority of America's middle class households are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether.

As the economy continues to reel, a new report finds that 4 million American households lost economic security between 2000 and 2006, and that a majority of America's middle class households are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether.

Related Articles


The new report, "From Middle to Shaky Ground: The Economic Decline of America's Middle Class, 2000-2006" was published by the policy center Demos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University.

"From Middle to Shaky Ground" is based on the Middle Class Security Index, co-developed by Demos and IASP/Brandeis, which uses government data and measures the financial security of the middle class by rating household stability across five core economic factors: assets, educational achievement, housing costs, budget and healthcare. Based on how a family ranked in each of these factors, they were defined as financially "secure," "borderline" or "at risk". In addition to the report, Demos and IASP/Brandeis have published an "Economic Security Scorecard" that the average family can use to measure where they fall on the Middle Class Security Index.

"The increases we're witnessing in housing costs and the number of families who lack health insurance, coupled with the extreme volatility of the average household's savings, show that a large percentage of America's middle class are not well equipped to weather this current economic storm," said Jennifer Wheary, one the report's co-authors and a Senior Fellow at Demos.

"From Middle to Shaky Ground" shows some worrying trends in America's households, including:

  • The median financial assets held by middle-class families declined by 22 percent. This means that for every dollar in median assets that middle-class families held in 2000, they held just 78 cents in 2006. These figures do not include home equity and therefore do not reflect additional losses families may have experienced due a decline in their home values.
  • Monthly housing expenses for the middle class rose by 9 percent. As a result, the percentage of middle-class families who match the Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of "housing burdened" rose from 31 percent in 2000 to 37 percent in 2006.
  • The number of middle-class families in which at least one member lacks health insurance grew from 18 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2006.

"Declines such as these in any one area are alarming," said Tom Shapiro, Professor of Law and Director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis. "Bad news across a range of areas supporting financial stability means the middle class is confronting its greatest challenge since the Great Depression."

This is the third report in a series based on the Middle Class Security Index. The first examined the overall economic security of the middle class, the second focused on African-American and Latino households. To download the report, the household financial security scorecard or the factsheet, visit http://www.demos.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brandeis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brandeis University. "76 Percent Of American Middle-class Households Not Financially Secure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124131235.htm>.
Brandeis University. (2008, November 24). 76 Percent Of American Middle-class Households Not Financially Secure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124131235.htm
Brandeis University. "76 Percent Of American Middle-class Households Not Financially Secure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124131235.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dispute Flares Over Controversial Thai Temple Tigers

Dispute Flares Over Controversial Thai Temple Tigers

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) — Thai wildlife officials begin a headcount of nearly 150 tigers kept by monks at a temple which has become the centre of a dispute over the welfare of the animals. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Comcast Drops $45 Billion Time Warner Bid

Comcast Drops $45 Billion Time Warner Bid

AP (Apr. 24, 2015) — Comcast is dropping its $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable after heavy regulatory pushback. Critics had pointed to higher prices and less choice. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) — A judge has approved a potential $1 billion plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits filed by retired players. The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer&apos;s disease or moderate dementia someday.(April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New DoD Strategy Warns of Cyberwar Capabilities

New DoD Strategy Warns of Cyberwar Capabilities

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) — A new Pentagon cybersecurity strategy lays out for the first time publicly that the U.S. military plans to use cyberwarfare as an option in conflicts with enemies. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins