Who Makes It to Middle Class? The Advantaged

Two in three Americans get there, but it's a lot more likely if you're born in it
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by WarmWeatherGuy
Posted Sep 21, 2012 2:48 PM CDT
Updated Sep 21, 2012 3:00 PM CDT
If you grew up in a house like this, odds are pretty good you could someday own one, too.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Roughly two out of every three Americans wind up in the middle class or higher by the time they turn 40, but it's a lot more likely to happen if you're born into wealthy family to begin with, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution. Children born to rich families had a 75% chance of winding up in middle class, here defined as having an income in the top three quintiles. Those born to poor families had only a 40% chance, the New York Times reports.

Race played a huge factor as well. The study set up benchmarks of success for each stage in life. For teens, for example, they were graduating high school with at least a 2.5 gpa, not having a criminal record, and not having children. Only two in five black teens hit all those marks, compared to two-thirds of whites. The study also emphasized the value of early success—hitting one benchmark made you much more likely to hit the next. (Read more middle class stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |