How the American middle class is really doing: What the data tell us
Part 2 of an event series on “A New Contract with the Middle Class”
How is the middle class faring? In a time of political transition, a global pandemic, and mass unemployment, this question has never been more important. On Thursday, February 4, the Future of the Middle Class Initiative at Brookings launched the Brookings Middle Class Monitor to answer this question with 12 metrics from five key domains for a good quality of life: money, time, relationships, health, and respect. Read more about the data and results here.
To coincide with this launch, the Initiative asked six experts to share what they think are the biggest issues affecting the middle class across three of those five domains: money, relationships, and health. The experts discussed middle-class incomes, explore the health of the middle class, and examine the role of family in upward mobility. Annie Lowrey from The Atlantic moderated the three sessions. Their different perspectives highlighted the many struggles — and potential solutions — that face Americans across the country today.
Check out more work in this space: Hear the voices of middle-class Americans on these questions, request a free hard copy of our proposed reforms, and watch the first event in the series, “Reframing the narrative of the middle class: Real voices pre- and post-pandemic.”
Viewers submitted questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter using #MiddleClassMonitor.
Welcome and introduction
Richard V. Reeves
John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair
Senior Fellow - Economic Studies
Staff writer - The Atlantic
How are middle-class incomes really doing?
Senior fellow - Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute
Former Brookings Expert
Under Secretary for International Affairs - U.S. Department of the Treasury
What are the biggest issues affecting health in the U.S. today?
Dayna Bowen Matthew
Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies, Center on Children and Families
Dean and Jean Mayer Professor - Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Professor of Medicine - Tufts Medical School
How important are family relationships to upward mobility?
David A. Williams
Director of Policy Outreach - Opportunity Insights
W. Bradford Wilcox
Director - National Marriage Project, University of Virginia
Nonresident Senior Fellow - American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
To subscribe or manage your subscriptions to our top event topic lists, please visit our event topics page.