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Standard of Living

In the first year of the pandemic, middle-class families received an average market income of $57,218 from wages, retirement, and more.

Adjusted for inflation, that’s $2,526 less than in 2019.

Standard of Living

Middle-class families received $31,578 in government assistance and paid $18,014 in taxes in 2020.

Compared to 2019, families received more in government assistance and paid fewer taxes due to lower incomes and more tax credits.

Standard of Living

More employees are getting vacation time, sick leave, retirement benefits, and paid family leave than in 2010.

Access to paid family leave more than doubled from 11% in 2010 to 25% in 2022.

Standard of Living

Wealth fell for all income quintiles except the bottom 20% over the first three quarters of 2022.

This was due to the loss of wealth in stocks and mutual fund shares, and retirement accounts. Wealth for all groups remains above pre-pandemic levels.

Standard of Living

The net worth of the middle class averaged $10.3 trillion, or about $393,000 per household, in the first three quarters of 2022.

That’s 7.4% of all US wealth. Real estate is the largest component of middle-class wealth, while home mortgages are the largest liability. The top 20% has more wealth in real estate than the middle class has in total.

Standard of Living

The poverty rate increased in 2020 and 2021, reaching 11.6% in 2021.

The share of people in poverty remains below the peak of 15.1% hit during the Great Recession. The poverty rate is consistently higher for children under 18 and Black and Hispanic groups than the nation overall.

Standard of Living

Total federal government assistance to individuals decreased 38.6% in fiscal year 2022 but was 42.2% higher than in FY 2019.

Child tax credit payments increased 54%, while COVID-19 payments to individuals and unemployment insurance decreased about 91% compared to FY 2021, as COVID-19 assistance measures expired.

Standard of Living

The number of individuals experiencing homelessness increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2020.

About 39% or 226,080 homeless people stayed in unsheltered locations in January 2020. (The COVID-19 pandemic limited the Department of Housing and Urban Development's collection of 2021 homelessness data.)

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