NC Ranks 4th for States Where the Middle Class is Dying
Our economy is strong when middle class families make good wages and reinvest into our economy to help keep our country's businesses successful. Unfortunately in North Carolina, the middle class is dying. Just take a look at few key metrics that highlight the decline average folks have experienced in the last few years.
- Middle income growth 2010-2014: -1.8%
- Fifth quintile income growth 2010-2014: 3.3% (25th highest)
- Fifth quintile share of income: 51.0% (11th highest)
- Middle class household income: $46,677 (11th lowest)
Because middle income families typically spend large shares of their income on goods and services, America’s middle class is expected to drive up consumption — and by extension, GDP. While high income households are able to spend enormous sums of money, there is often only so much an individual can spend, even on luxury goods.
Income inequality has been getting worse in the state. The highest earning 20% of North Carolina households have an average income of more than $166,000, up 3.3% since 2010. Meanwhile, the income of a typical middle class North Carolina household fell by 1.8%, more than twice the comparable national income decline of 0.7%.
The share of total income earned by the bottom 80% of households fell from 2010 through 2014 and was redistributed to the highest quintile. The top 20% of U.S. households held more than half of total income in 2014, up 1.08 percentage points from 2010. Even among top earners, income was not evenly distributed. During that five-year period, the top 5% of households accounted for more than 85% of income gains for the top 20% of earners.