Study: Middle Class Neighborhoods Shrinking

November 17, 2011

The number of families living in middle-income neighborhoods has dropped drastically in the last four decades, according to a new study conducted by Stanford University. 

The study shows that while the rich are getting richer, the middle class and those in poverty are getting poorer.

The shrinking middle-class and rising income equality in the nation is leaving more families in neighborhoods that are either most low-income or mostly affluent, the New York Times reports. 

According to 2007 data, 44 percent of families lived in neighborhoods defined as middle-income — down from 65 percent of families in 1970. 

Meanwhile, a third of families lived in areas of either affluence or poverty, an increase from 15 percent of families in 1970.

The cities that saw the biggest increases in income segregation in the last decade: Detroit; Oklahoma City; Toledo, Ohio; and Greensboro, N.C.

Source: “Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds,” The New York Times (Nov. 15, 2011)