A third of Americans now say they are in the lower-middle or lower class – up from a quarter in 2008, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
The national survey of 2,508 adults found that 32 percent identified themselves as lower class, compared with 25 percent four years ago. A growing number of people younger than 30 – 39 percent – identified themselves as lower class, versus 25 percent in 2008.
The shares of Hispanics and whites who place themselves in the lower class also are growing – at 40 to 30 percent for Hispanics and at 31 to 23 percent for whites.
But among African Americans, the share of those self-identifying with the lower class has not changed in four years – at 33 percent – one of the few groups in which the proportion in the lower classes did not grow.
The Pew survey found that more Democrats than Republicans place themselves in the lower classes, but Republicans saw a sharper rise over the past four years. Some 23 percent of GOP respondents now call themselves lower class, up from 13 percent in 2008. Among Democrats, 33 percent now call themselves lower class, versus 29 percent in 2008.
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