The decline of the American middle class is “a pervasive local phenomenon,” according to Pew, which analyzed census and American Community Survey data in 229 metros across the country, encompassing about three-quarters of the U.S. population. In 203 of those metros, the share of adults in middle-income households fell from 2000 to 2014.
On the average is over front, there is also this:
In total, 172 of these 229 metros saw a growing share of households in the upper-income tier. About as many — 160 — saw a growing share at the bottom. And 108 experienced both: The middle class shrank as the ranks of both the poor and the rich grew.
Here is more from Wonkblog on the new Pew study. The decline in the middle class is typically strongest in areas where manufacturing used to be strong.
This used to be a debate, but the funny thing is the nomination of Trump has sealed it for the more pessimistic side. That is unfair, actually, though I think the pessimistic side is correct nonetheless.