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:
|Metro name||2014 lower income %||2014 middle income %||2014 upper income %||lower income change (%)||middle income change (%)||upper income change (%)|
|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|
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.