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The Middle Class Is Shrinking, And It’s Becoming More Female

April 26, 2017

The United States Census Bureau’s new report, “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016,” reveals how much being a grown up has changed over the past forty years. “Marrying and having children,” the report states, are not seen as “very important.” Instead, young people prioritize “educational and economic accomplishments.”

A CNBC analysis confirms that “it’s not just ideas that are changing, though. The middle class is shifting altogether. It’s not just getting smaller; it’s also becoming more female.”

The report contains a bit of good news for young women:

“The report states that “young women have made considerable economic gains … The share of young women who earned $60,000 or more grew from about two percent to 13 percent — a minority, but still a sizable change.” Though in part because the men at the top still make so much more, young women’s median incomes remain “$11,000 lower than the income of young men.”

However, “women of all ages still hold many fewer of the most highly paid jobs. According to BLS data, there are a handful of jobs in which women make at least $1,300 a week, but as CNBC reported this year in honor of Equal Pay Day, “In the most lucrative professions, women make up less than 30 percent in each role.”

Read the Census Bureau’s full report at Census.gov.