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Tracking the Decline: Middle-Class Security in the 2000s

The security of the middle class has faltered in the wake of the recession, a trend expected to have long-lasting effects as Americans move toward retirement. Among working-age middle-income families, those defined as “secure” fell by 38 percent from 2004 to 2010 and the proportion defined as “vulnerable” grew by 42 percent.

The findings in this paper are based on a new Middle Class Tracking Index developed by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University in conjunction with AARP’s Public Policy Institute. The report describes trends in security based on age, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, and family status.