Want to know if you’re in the middle class? This calculator will give you an idea
At a time of growing concern about income inequality, the Pew Research Center has developed a calculator to give people an idea of exactly how they’re doing, pay-wise.
Put in a few details — your state, metro area, household income, and household size — and the calculator will give you the data, telling you whether you are in the upper-, middle-, or lower-income tier.
The calculator, which Pew released last month, was based on government data for 2016. It will also tell you, based on your age, education level, race or ethnicity, and marital status, how you compare with other adults in the United States similar to you.
Pew says none of your data will be stored or shared with anyone.
Overall, in 2016, 52 percent of American adults lived in middle-income households, 29 percent in lower-income households, and 19 percent in upper-income households, Pew said.
The share of adults in middle-income households remained about the same in 2016 as in 2011, but it has been generally shrinking over the past several decades, Pew said.
In 1971, 61 percent of American adults lived in middle-income households, 25 percent in lower-income households, and 14 percent in upper-income households, Pew said.
Census reports show that Massachusetts households in the middle earned about $77,000 last year.
The Pew calculator does not tell the whole story. It doesn’t look at total wealth, the amount of assets you might have, such as money in the bank or a house, minus your debts.
And there’s bad news regarding wealth: The median amount of wealth of middle-income families in 2016 was 33 percent lower than in 2007, before the Great Recession; and 42 percent lower for lower-income families. (In fact, the net worth of the middle- and lower-income families was comparable with 1989 levels, Pew said.)
It was a different story for upper-income families: Their median wealth has rebounded from the recession, up 10 percent, Pew said.
The recovery has been uneven, the New York Times reports, with the very wealthy bouncing back and those dependent on their savings or income still struggling.
The Washington Post also reports that the top 10 percent of working-age households are the only ones who, after inflation adjustments, were richer in 2016 than in 2007.