New Report Finds Widespread ‘Downward Mobility,’ As One In Three Middle Class Americans Got Poorer Over Their Lives

A new report put out by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that nearly “one in three Americans who grew up middle-class has slipped down the income ladder as an adult.” African American men are particularly susceptible to downward mobility, as “thirty-eight percent of black men who grew up middle-class are downwardly mobile, nearly double the rate of white men.” People were deemed to be downwardly mobile “if they fell below the 30th percentile in income, if their income rank was 20 or more percentiles below their parents’ rank, or if they earn at least 20 percent less than their parents.” The report did not examine the effects of the Great Recession, which presumably accelerated downward mobility.