New Mexico's Dwindling Middle Class

The Land of Enchantment's middle class is smaller and shrinking faster than most other states

Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, put together a neat (albeit sobering) infographic this week analyzing how much the middle class is shrinking in each state.

The news isn't good for anyone, as all 50 states saw a drop in middle class households since the turn of the millennium. But it's especially bad for the Land of Enchantment.

New Mexico's middle class saw a drop of nearly 5 percent between 2000 and 2013, or more specifically from 48 percent to 43.2 percent of the state's households.

That's comparable to states like Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota and Ohio. Only Wisconsin, according to the chart, had a higher middle class drop during the same time period, totaling 6 percent.

Stateline compiled the graph using data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey and the University of Minnesota's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series.

The news organization defines "middle class" as households making between 67 percent and 200 percent of their state's median income. That's significant because New Mexico's median income is lower than most other states in the country. And the Stateline report notes that the drop in middle class households occurred "even as the median income in most states declined, when adjusted for inflation."

New Mexico's 2013 median income was $43,872, a drop from $47,035 in 2000 when adjusted for inflation.

For perspective's sake, Texas' 2013 median income ranked at $51,704; Colorado's was $58,823; Utah's was $59,770 and Arizona's was $48,510. It's also worth noting that each of New Mexico's neighboring states' share of middle class sit between 45 percent and 52 percent of all households—which are all higher that New Mexico.

For more, click here.

Graphic courtesy Stateline.
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