The middle class now holds a smaller share of U.S. assets than the top 1% of wealthiest Americans.
The middle class, often defined as 60% of U.S. households in the middle of all income brackets, saw their combined assets fall to 26.6% of national wealth as of June 2021, the lowest in three decades, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile, for the first time, the super-rich had a bigger share, at 27%.
The data reflects an erosion in the financial security of mid-tier earners, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite trillions of dollars in government relief.
As seen by many economists, the middle class includes 77.5 million U.S. households with an annual income of $27,000 to $141,000, based on Census Bureau data.
Meanwhile, the top 1% of earners represent about 1.3 million households who roughly make more than $500,000 a year.
Data showed that the top 20% of U.S. income earners had seen their share of national wealth increase about ten percentage points over the past 30 years, while the middle class has seen its share of assets, including real estate, private businesses, and corporate equities, all declined in three decades.
In 1991, the middle class held more than 44% of real estate assets in the United States, but they now hold 38%.
According to Bloomberg, financially squeezed workers helped drive support for former President Donald Trump and the populist turn in the Republican Party.
President Joe Biden seeks to bolster working- and middle-class families with a controversial $3.5 trillion spending package, but his drafted measure attracts no support from Republicans in the Senate.