NC Budget and Tax Center

ICYMI North Carolina ranks high for states with declining middle class

Last week, USA Today highlighted new analysis of Census data identifying where the middle class is dying across the country due to the failure of wages to grow for this group.  The analysis looks at income earned before taxes of those households in the third quintile, the middle 20 percent of earners in each state.

North Carolina ranked 4th among states for its decline in income for those in the middle of the distribution. From the analysis:

The highest earning 20% of North Carolina households have an average income of more than $166,000, up 3.3% since 2010. Meanwhile, the income of a typical middle class North Carolina household fell by 1.8%, more than twice the comparable national income decline of 0.7%.

As the story makes clear, the challenge for the broader economy of such declines in income for the middle class is real since consumption comprises a significant component of growth as measured by GDP.  To read more, check out the original analysis here.

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