By Tami Luhby, CNN

(CNN) — No wonder the middle class is feeling squeezed. Its income is only returning to where it was in 2000.

The typical family of three had an income of just under $78,450 in 2016, according to a Pew Research Center report, which used the most recent data available. In 2000, it was just under $78,100.

Whatever advances the middle class made in the early 2000s were snuffed out by the Great Recession, said Rakesh Kochhar, a senior researcher at Pew. Its median income had dropped to $74,000 by 2010, and it took several years to return because of the historically slow economic recovery just after the downturn.

Only upper income families have seen some uptick. Their income rose to nearly $187,900 in 2016, compared to $183,700 in 2000.

The poor have yet to climb back, however. These households had a median income of just over $25,600 in 2016, not yet at the nearly $27,000 they made in 2000.

Related: The middle class is growing again — but slowly

Overall, just over half of American adults were in the middle class in 2016. That’s up slightly from 2011, but down from 61% in 1971. Nearly 30% were lower income in 2016, and 19% were upper income.

The Midwest is home to many robust middle class metropolitan areas. Some 65% of adults in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, are middle class — the highest share in the nation, Pew found. On the flip side, Laredo, Texas, had the lowest share at 39%.

Related: Almost half of US families can’t afford basics like rent and food

The future, at least, may be brighter for the middle class. Incomes rose more strongly between 2014 and 2016 as the economic recovery picked up, though it tilted towards the better off, Kochhar said. Median income is expected to continue trending upwards, especially as more people get jobs.

The Census Bureau will report median household income for 2017 for the nation overall on Wednesday. It rose to just over $59,000 in 2016, up 3.2% from a year earlier.

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Comments (24)
  1. Douglas E McStephens says:

    Trumps fault. No really!

  2. I like how drudge is pretending economic reports from 2016 reflect on Donald Trump’s performancee

  3. David Puddy says:


  4. The new “Left” hates the proletariat and is funded by billionaires.

  5. Josh Gilman says:

    It took obama 8 years to return the economy to what it was right before the 2008 drop, courtesy of losers clinton and bush.

  6. Marcus Welby says:

    nothing scares libbies more than a prosperous middle class. It kills the race-baiting, victim politics bs they keep spewing and takes away from their useful idiot pool.

  7. Paul Foote says:

    Questionable report by CNN. It would be nice to believe it, but considering the source….nah!

  8. Middle class income is up? It’s Trump’s fault. Impeach him!.

  9. Kim Ama says:

    CNN buried this in their online news feed… too busy pushing the phony Russia collusion hoax on other media feeds…

  10. Vox Veritas says:

    And just when Obamunism thought it had all but eliminated the Middle Class.

  11. “Progressives” won’t like this. The Bourgeois pigs are prospering! “Progressives,” a.k.a. Democrat politicians, will use this as an excuse to raise taxes!

  12. Joe Yeti says:

    THANK you President Trump.

  13. John Strekal says:

    This rise in income is more complicated than suggested.

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