Research Report Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream
Gregory Acs
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A middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime. A third of Americans raised in the middle class (between the 30th and 70th percentiles of the income distribution) fall out of the middle as adults. Marital status, education, test scores and drug use have a strong influence on whether a middle-class child loses economic ground as an adult. Race is a factor only for men. There is a gender gap in downward mobility from the middle, but it is driven entirely by a disparity between white men and white women.
Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Children and youth Families Race and equity
Tags Economic well-being Racial and ethnic disparities Race, gender, class, and ethnicity Women and girls Men and boys Income and wealth distribution Inequality and mobility Racial inequities in economic mobility Racial wealth gap
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center