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Romney is way off on middle class

Published Sept. 17, 2012

Just who is a member of America's middle class? It's not who Mitt Romney thinks. The Republican nominee, in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that aired last week, said he considered households earning up to $200,000 to $250,000 to be middle-income families — rejecting Stephanopoulos' suggestion of $100,000. Perhaps it feels like that in wealthier pockets of the country such as Manhattan, but not in most of America and most of Florida. The latest round of U.S. Census results released last week and a Pew Research Center study from last month show that middle-class Americans are lucky to make half of what Romney supposed.

A primer on the middle class:

$50,054 Median individual income in 2011

$62,273 Median household income in 2011

8.1% Drop in median household income since 2007, last year before recession

$39,000 to $118,000 Middle-class household income for a family of three (defined by Pew Research Center as 67 to 200 percent of median income)

51% American households that are middle class

20% American households earning more than $118,000

29% American households earning less than $39,000

Source: U.S. Census, Pew Research Center