Nevada’s Middle Class Majority in Decline

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

The U.S. middle class is slowly clawing its way back, according to new research compiled by Pew.

Every state but Wyoming saw a decrease in their middle class— defined as earning between two-thirds and twice the state’s size-adjusted median household income — between 2000 and 2013. But 38 states saw a their share of middle class households increase by 2016.

However, there’s still a lot of catching up to do: In 2016 there were 30 states where at least half of households were middle class, up from 28 in 2013 but still down from 43 states in 2000.

Let’s look at Nevada. The Silver State’s households were 56.9% middle class in 2000, but just 52.2% by 2013. That 4.7 point drop left us tied for the 7th-worst decline in the nation. Median income fell by almost $10,000 over the same period.

From 2013 to 2016, Nevada was one of only 12 states to see a continued contraction in its middle class, falling to 51.8% and again coming in tied for 7th worst even as median income ticked back up by about $3,000. So…at least we’re consistent?

Only Alaska and Hawaii had a larger share of middle-class households in 2016 than in 2000 — and in both cases, the increase was just two-tenths of a percentage point, to about 55 percent.

Check out the state data for yourself in this interactive map from Pew: