AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS: How fast is it shrinking?

Posted on April 10, 2017 • Category: Jobs and Employment


America’s middle-class now represents 50% of middle-income households and 43% of the nation’s workforce. As the ranks of lower- and higher-income workers increase, the income inequality and opportunity gap that America is creating will become a more important political and social issue. The American Dream is upward mobility, which is becoming increasingly more difficult.


Income Distribution Over Time



Arizona's Well-Being: What holds us back?



Arizona continues as one of the top states in the nation for the sense of well-being felt by the people who live here. But there’s also room for improvement.


These results and other findings from the Gallup survey made it possible for CFA to identify a key citizen goal of The Arizona We Want.

Citizen Goal: Create quality jobs for all Arizonans.
Arizonans want high school students to graduate college-career ready and they want more job training programs for people of all ages.

LEARN MORE about the 8 citizen goals that describe The Arizona We Want.



“The shrinking middle class is a constitutional problem because our Constitution wasn’t designed for a country with significant economic inequality.” – Ganesh Sitaraman
Rebuilding Middle Class is the Key to Preserving Democracy  

Science Daily, Mar 27, 2017

43% Americans who identify themselves as middle class.
What Determines How Americans Perceive Their Social Class?  

Gallup Analytics, Feb 27, 2017
50% Percentage of middle-income American households in 2015, compared to 61% in 1971.
The American Middle Class is Losing Ground.  

Pew Research Center, Dec 9, 2015

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Lattie F. Coor

Chairman's Point of View

"When CFA set out to build a Citizens' Agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national movement to resolve some of the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of our Arizona Gallup Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens.

As described by The Arizona We Want report, the people of our state are concerned about policy issues – jobs, education, healthcare, the state's transportation system, water and public resources – and much more. Arizonans also want more citizen engagement in the policy process, more active participation in the civic life of their local communities and more attention paid to nurturing and keeping the state's talented young people."

Learn More about how CFA is activating the Citizens' Agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.

Center for the Future of Arizona
541 East Van Buren, B-5
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2211
Phone: 602-496-1360
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