This is a follow-up to Monday's "St. Louis on the Air" show about the middle class. Hear the audio from that show and read Kyle Jacoby's story to find out what the experts said about the middle class, the economy and the American Dream.
You've heard it before: The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. But what about those in the middle?
The rich are getting richer. The top 5 percent of earners in the U.S. accounted for nearly 40 percent of personal consumption expenditures in 2012, according to the Institute for New Economic Thinking. That is up from 28 percent in 1995.
Younger families are not recovering as quickly from the recession as their elders.
An analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that families headed by someone younger than 40 have recovered only about one-third of their pre-recession wealth.
Meanwhile older families have nearly regained their pre-crisis level of wealth.
So, why are those under 40 having a harder time recovering?
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.