It was the best of times, it was the worst of times all over again.
“Since 2000, 95 percent of new households in King County have been either rich or poor. A mere 5 percent could be considered middle income.”
That is a statistic reportedly true of Seattle – the heart of King County in Washington state – but which may well be a window into what is happening across much of the rest of the country.
The Seattle Times provided a data map illustrating the disappearance of the middle class in terms of new homes purchased:
Between 2000 and 2012, King County grew by 85,000 households — what Constantine referred to in his speech as “new households.” Data show that more than 40,000 of these households are low-income, earning less than half the King County median income (or about $35,000 in 2012). Roughly the same number are high-income, with earnings at more than 180 percent of the median (or about $125,000 in 2012).
That means, of course, that there was barely any growth in the middle-income group — just 3,500 households earning between $35,000 and $125,000.