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Standard of Living

In 2021, the middle 20%, or middle class, families received an average market income of $62,094 from wages, retirement, and investments.

Adjusted for inflation, that’s $3,035 less than in 2000.

Standard of Living

Middle-class families received $34,611 in government assistance and paid $19,595 in taxes in 2021, after adjusting for inflation.

Compared to 2000, families received $19,834 more government assistance and paid $1,408 less taxes due to lower incomes, pandemic tax credits, and other changes to the tax code.

Standard of Living

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

The percent of employees with access to paid family leave more than doubled from 11% in 2010 to 27% in 2023.

Standard of Living

Wealth increased for all income quintiles except the middle class over the first three quarters of 2023.

This increase was partly due to all income quintiles gaining real estate wealth. Wealth in retirement accounts also decreased for all quintiles.

Standard of Living

The net worth of the middle class averaged about $449,200 per household or a combined $11.9 trillion, over the first three quarters of 2023.

That’s 8.4% of total household wealth in the United States. 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 was 11.5% in 2022. It has hovered around 11.5% from 2020 through 2022, but remains 1 percentage point higher than the pre-pandemic low of 10.5% in 2019.

Despite this rise, the poverty rate has been lower than its current rate in only five of the last 63 years. The poverty rate is consistently higher for children under 18 and Black and Hispanic groups than the nation overall.

Standard of Living

The federal government spent $1.3 trillion on assistance to individuals in fiscal year 2023. This was 24.9% higher than in FY 2019 after adjusting for inflation, but 46.1% less than the peak in FY 2021.

Medicaid and CHIP spending increased by over $125.8 billion from 2019 to 2023. The increase in other cash programs from $237.7 million to $46.1 billion was due to COVID payments and refundable tax credits.

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