Home > business and economics, Pew Economic Mobility Project, social and cultural issues > Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream

Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream

September 26, 2011

Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream
Pew Economic Mobility Project

The Economic Mobility Project’s report, Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream, examines potential factors that cause some Americans who grow up in the middle class to fall down the economic ladder as adults. Authored by Gregory Acs during his tenure at the Urban Institute, the report finds that a middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime. Marital status, education, test scores and drug use have a strong influence on whether a middle-class child loses economic ground as an adult. Race and gender also are factors in who falls out of the middle class. The racial gap in downward mobility is driven by a disparity between white and black men, and the gender gap in downward mobility is driven by a disparity between white men and white women.

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