Many of our parents were able to raise their standard of living so that the family moved economically from the lower class to middle class, and that is how some of us grew up—as part of the middle class. However, “growing up middle class is no guarantee of maintaining the same status as an adult.” This is the conclusion from the report from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project. This report, “Downward Mobility From the Middle Class: Waking Up From the American Dream found that, overall, about one third of all Americans who grew up in a middle class household will “fall out” of that socioeconomic level.
Several things have an impact on the downward movement in class. Among them are personal decisions and family background, but race is not a factor except for black males. The report asserts that 38 percent of black men fall out of the middle class while 21 percent of white men fall out of the middle class. Conversely, “white, black, and Hispanic women are equally likely to drop out of the middle class.”