by Tim Mullaney, USA Today
For the first time since at least World War II, middle-class families finished the first decade of the 21st century poorer and with lower incomes than they had 10 years earlier.
And 85% of those surveyed say that in the 2000s, it was harder than before to maintain a middle-class lifestyle, according to a study out Wednesday by the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends project.
Median household income dropped nearly $3,500 for a three-person middle-class household, to $69,487 a year, after adjusting for inflation, the Pew study said. The median household's net worth dropped 28% to $93,150. Incomes have dropped since 2000, while wealth rose modestly early in the decade before gains were wiped out by the recession that began in 2007 and the financial crisis sparked in 2008, said Paul Taylor, a Pew executive vice president. [MORE]