The cost-of-living adjustment for an area was calculated as follows: Jackson, Tennessee, is a relatively inexpensive area, with a price level that is 17% less than the national average. The Hawaii metropolitan area known as Urban Honolulu is one of the most expensive areas, with a price level that is % higher than the national average. Thus, to step over the national middle-class threshold of $42,000, a household in Jackson needs an income of only about $34,600, or 17% less than the national standard. But a household in Urban Honolulu needs a reported income of about $51,000, or % more than the . norm, to join the middle class.
The report then turns to a demographic analysis of the three main income tiers. First, the report examines how changes in the size of lower-, middle- and upper-income tiers have played out differently across demographic groups. The key demographic breaks include age, marital status, gender, race and ethnicity, nativity, education, occupation and industry. Next, the report briefly examines the demographic composition of the middle-income population and how it compares with the population of adults overall and adults in lower- and upper-income tiers.
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is one of seven projects that make up the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Project produces reports exploring the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. The Pew Internet Project takes no positions on policy issues related to the internet or other communications technologies. It does not endorse technologies, industry sectors, companies, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. While we thank our research partners for their helpful guidance, the Pew Internet Project had full control over the design, implementation, analysis and writing of this survey and report.