A Pew Research survey found Americans who saw themselves as being a part of the “lower classes” has increased from 25 percent to 32 percent during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Even worse, those who describe themselves as “lower class” are losing hope, which is consistent with the 368,000 workers who gave up looking for work in August and left the workforce.
Seventy-seven percent said it was harder to get ahead than it was ten years ago and only 51% said hard work brings success. More people in the lower classes said they thought their children would have it worse in the next generation.
The Pew Survey was released the same week a Census Bureau report revealed poverty is at record levels under Obama.
The Pew report found those under 30 and Hispanics are increasingly defining themselves as “lower class,” while the number of black lower class Americans did not change the last four years.
Further, the study found 84% of adults “in the lower classes say they had to cut back spending in the past year” compared with 62 and 41 percent in the middle and upper classes, respectively. Those in the lower classes are less healthy as well.
Under Obama, “more Democrats than Republicans place themselves in the lower classes, but those of the GOP saw a sharper rise over the past four years” as well. In 2008, 13 percent of Republicans said they were in the lower classes. In 2012, 23% consider themselves “lower class.” Among Democrats, 33% percent describe themselves as “lower class.” In 2008, 29% did.
For the survey, Pew asked respondents this question: “If you were asked to use one of these commonly used names for the social classes, which would you say you belong in: the upper class, upper-middle class, middle class, lower-middle class or lower class?