The middle class in America is declining and no longer constitutes a majority under President Barack Obama, according to a Pew Research study, which found that “after more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number by those in the economic tiers above and below it.”

Pew found that the “share of American adults living in middle-income households has fallen from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2015. The share living in the upper-income tier rose from 14% to 21% over the same period. Meanwhile, the share in the lower-income tier increased from 25% to 29%.”

According to the study that was released on Wednesday, “married adults (both with and without children at home) are more likely than unmarried adults to live in upper-income households and less likely to be in lower-income households” and white and Asians “are more likely than black and Hispanic adults to be in the upper-income tier, and they are less likely to be in the lower-income tier.” But “over the longer term, black adults sustained the largest increase in income status from 1971 to 2015 and were the only major racial or ethnic group to experience a decline in their lower-income share.”

The study also found that “the rising share of immigrants in the Hispanic adult population” (29% in 1970 to 49% in 2015) is likely the reason why “Hispanic adults have slipped down the income ladder since 1971, driven by an increase from 34% to 43% in their lower-income share.” Foreign-born Hispanics were less likely to be in the middle class than U.S.-born Hispanics. The study also found that “in terms of differences by nativity, foreign-born adults are more likely than U.S.-born adults to be lower income (38% to 27% in 2015), and less likely to be upper income (16% to 22%).”

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