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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
December 11, 2015

The middle class is no longer the majority in America.

Back in 1971, the middle class was thriving, with 61% of the adult population squarely in its $46,000 to $126,000 range—adjusted for inflation, of course—allowing them to enjoy the sounds of a still-alive Jim Morrison through the speakers of a brand new car.

Things have changed, according to Pew Social Trends. The percentage of American households occupying the middle class has been falling for decades, from 59% in 1981 to 54% in 2001, down to 51% in 2011. As of 2015, the middle class is not the majority. To be clear, it’s still a strong plurality—just under 50% is still higher than either of upper- (21%) and lower-income (29%) levels combined—but the decline is huge. On the one hand, Pew says that’s not all bad: The upper bracket grew more than the lower bracket. But median income for the middle class has gone down 4% since 2000.

So are you still a member? Well, Pew made a handy tool so you can find out.

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