Charts of the week: Fake news, middle-class income growth, and low youth voter turnout

Image from interactive of youth, low income voters state by state

Here is this week’s selection of charts, graphs, or maps from Brookings experts’ research.

In Brookings poll, 57 percent say they have seen fake news during the 2018 elections

In a poll commissioned by Brookings and overseen by Governance Studies Vice President and Director Darrell West, 57 percent of respondents said they have seen fake news during the 2018 elections. Nineteen percent believe it has influenced how they plan to vote. Seniors are more likely than younger people to say fake news has influenced them. Find out more data in the report.

Chart: Fake news and impact on vote

Middle-class income growth lags behind the highest and lowest quintiles of earners

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 favored the well-off, and, according to the Tax Policy Center, its benefits will flow to the richest Americans by 2027. Isabel Sawhill and Christopher Pulliam note that from 1979-2014, incomes of the top 20 percent rose by 97 percent; incomes for the lowest 20 percent rose 69 percent; but incomes for the middle three quintiles is up only 42 percent over that period. Sawhill and Pulliam argue that in the new tax law and other policies, “the middle class has lost out. Tax cuts dressed up as help for the middle class should be labelled for what they are: welfare for the wealthy.”


In the U.S. 2016 election, voter turnout was 56 percent of eligible voters. Turnout is typically lower in midterm election years, and lower still for younger voters, those aged 18-20. And for this group, turnout is even lower in households with lower incomes.

Young voter turnout (Ages 18-28) for 2014 elections by state from households with below median family incomes