Have you ever heard the phrase, "the middle class is shrinking"?

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I know I have. And when I was a younger person and more naive to the situation, I didn't pay much attention to it. Now that I'm an "adult", the idea that the middle class is shrinking is pretty scary.

Middle Class in America

According to research done by the Pew Research Center, 61% of Americans made up the middle class in 1971. And according to the most recent census data from 2016, only 52% of Americans can be defined as "middle-class".

The cost of living has certainly increased over time. Taking a look at data from the U.S. Inflation Calculator, we typically see inflation anywhere from 0.7% to 2.3% (based on years 2012 through 2020).

However, Americans have seen an unprecedented amount of inflation in the last couple of years. in 2020 and 2021, Americans saw an inflation rate of 7% and 7.1% respectively. With that in mind, how much money would one need to make to be considered "middle class" in Michigan?

Michigan Middle-Class Income

Where you live certainly affects whether or not your income would be considered "middle-class". So, the Pew Research Center took a look at the data from the 2016 census (the most recent data) to determine the range of income that an individual, a couple, and a family of four would need to have in order to be considered middle-class.

Here's what you'd have to earn in Michigan in order to be considered middle-class:

  • Individual - $24,345 – $73,035
  • Couple - $34,429 – $103,288
  • Family of Four - $48,690 – $146,071

However, since we've had such a huge increase in inflation rates in the last couple of years, this is not quite accurate. Since 2016, the U.S. Inflation Calculator used a cumulative rate of inflation of 24% from 2016 to now. So here's a more accurate reflection of what the middle-class income range would look like for 2022.

  • Individual - $30,198 – $ 90,594
  • Couple - $42,706 – $128,121
  • Family of Four - $60,396.36 – $181,190

So there you have it. That's the amount of income you need to have to be considered middle-class in Michigan.

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