Connecticut middle class losing ground, as in most of the nation

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Connecticut has seen some of the sharpest declines in the size of its middle class over the past decade-and-a-half, according to new research.

A study by the Pew Research Center shows the middle class is shrinking in 203 out of 229 metropolitan areas across the country.

Middle class households were defined as earning between two-thirds and double the  median income.

Metropolitan areas in Connecticut saw among the steepest declines, with more growth in the upper class than the lower class. A New York Times report focused on 100 areas with the steepest declines — areas with more than a 4 percent decline in the size of the middle class. The Norwich-New London metropolitan area’s decline was nearly twice that.

The below table is excerpted from the Pew Research Center’s full data tables:

Change in income class sizes in Connecticut metro areas
In the Connecticut metropolitan areas examined in the Pew Research Center study, the decline of the middle class has gone hand-in-hand with an increase in the size of the state’s upper class.
Metro name 2014 lower income % 2014 middle income % 2014 upper income % lower income change (%) middle income change (%) upper income change (%)
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 22.45 45.55 32 0.79 -4.18 3.39
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 20.96 49.3 29.73 2.08 -6.4 4.31
New Haven-Milford, CT 27.71 49.96 22.33 1.75 -7.89 6.14
Norwich-New London, CT 18.55 52.8 28.65 0.6 -8.43 7.83
Pew Research Center

The Census Bureau doesn’t publish the same individual-level data used in the Pew study on a town-by-town level, so we were not able to extend the analysis to towns in Connecticut, but we did look at change in median income in Connecticut towns between 2000 and 2014, the period examined in the study.

While the size of the upper class grew in Connecticut areas examined in the study, the median income declined in 120 towns between 2000 and 2014, after adjusting for inflation. Just 49 towns saw increases in their median income.

What do you think?

  • Joseph Brzezinski

    What is the basis you use to adjust for inflation? CPI? If CPI, is it all US, just CT, or different for metro’s?

    • 00000000001

      Can you possibly trust the way government calculates the cost of living? Take last year, for instance, can a drop in gasoline prices single-handedly offset the increase in food, utility, rent, property tax, car repair, and medical/prescription prices? From your own personal experiences, you know what you felt.

      • Joseph Brzezinski

        The government has several different CPI’s based upon different mixes of priced that are published. Some are also calculated for different geographies. The point do the questions was to find out which was used and whether a differentiation by geography was used.

  • Libertarian Advocate

    Hmmmm. Does anyone think it possible that income decline among the middle class is the inevitable result of jobs fleeing to business friendly jurisdictions? Proggies are idiots who’s policies only work in the protected environment of a college classroom. The real world delivers hard punishments for silly ideas. Acacademia delivers degrees for them.