The dangerous separation of the American upper middle class

An Hermes employee holds a diamond and crocodile handbag.

An Hermes employee holds a diamond and crocodile handbag. The American upper middle class is separating, slowly but surely, from the rest of society. This separation is most obvious in terms of income—where the top fifth have been prospering while the majority lags behind. But the separation is not just economic. Gaps are growing on a whole range of dimensions, including family structure, education, lifestyle, and geography. Indeed, these dimensions of advantage appear to be clustering more tightly together, each thereby amplifying the effect of the other.

In a new series of Social Mobility Memos, we will examine the state […]