middle class extinction

The Great Middle Class Extinction: “95% of New Homes Built for Rich or Poor”

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.

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