According to the Pew Research Center, middle-income households are declining in Colorado. Middle-class households in the Denver area decreased from 58 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2014. Lower income households increased by four percentage points during that same time. Pew researchers note the decline took place in all five Colorado metropolitan areas, including Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo and Grand Junction.
The Fort Collins metro area, which includes Loveland, decreased by three points from 54 to 51 percent. The lower income group saw a five-point increase from 32 to 37 percent. Pew defined a lower-income household as one earning 66 percent or less of the median income in a given metro area. By Pew’s definition, a three-person household was middle class in 2014 if its annual income fell between just under $42,000 and about $125,000.
This data is startling. An economist at the University of Maryland, notes that the U.S. economy has grown an average of only 1.7 percent a year since 2000, just half the pace seen under the Reagan and Clinton administrations. In other words, the U.S. economy is stagnant. The ability of residents to enter the housing market or purchase a could be affected if this trend continues.