Report

Downward Mobility From the Middle Class

Waking Up from the American Dream

quick summary

Authored by Gregory Acs during his tenure at the Urban Institute, the report finds that a middle-class upbringing does not guarantee the same status over the course of a lifetime. Marital status, education, test scores and drug use have a strong influence on whether a middle-class child loses economic ground as an adult. Race and gender also are factors in who falls out of the middle class. The racial gap in downward mobility is driven by a disparity between white and black men, and the gender gap in downward mobility is driven by a disparity between white men and white women.