Here's just one finding in a report from March 11 last year
America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas
The middle class lost ground in nearly nine-in-ten U.S. metropolitan areas examined
median incomes fell by up to 10% in 95 other metropolitan areas. The New York and Los Angeles areas belong to this group of metropolitan areas. Many of the country’s largest metropolitan areas fall into this category too, including Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX; Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX; Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ; and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA.
Warning: This is NOT a quick or easy-read
"The American middle class is losing ground in metropolitan areas across the country, affecting communities from Boston to Seattle and from Dallas to Milwaukee. From 2000 to 2014 the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined in a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring 6 percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a 4-point drop nationally.
The changes at the metropolitan level, the subject of this in-depth look at the American middle class, demonstrate that the national trend is the result of widespread declines in localities all around the country.
This report encompasses 229 of the 381 “metropolitan statistical areas” as defined by the federal government. That is the maximum number of areas that could be identified in the Census Bureau data used for the analysis and for which data are available for both 2000 and 2014 (an accompanying text box provides more detail). 1 Together, these areas accounted for 76% of the nation’s population in 2014.
With relatively fewer Americans in the middle-income tier, the economic tiers above and below have grown in significance over time. The share of adults in upper-income households increased in 172 of the 229 metropolitan areas, even as the share of adults in lower-income households rose in 160 metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014. The shifting economic fortunes of localities were not an either/or proposition:
Some 108 metropolitan areas experienced growth in both the lower- and upper-income tiers.
Among American adults overall, including those from outside the 229 areas examined in depth, the share living in middle-income households fell from 55% in 2000 to 51% in 2014. Reflecting the accumulation of changes at the metropolitan level, the nationwide share of adults in lower-income households increased from 28% to 29% and the share in upper-income households rose from 17% to 20% during the period . . .
. . . These findings emerge from a new Pew Research Center analysis of the latest available 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau in conjunction with the 2000 decennial census data. The focus of the study is on the relative size and economic well-being of the middle class in U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. These areas consist of an urban core and surrounding localities with social and economic ties to the core.
> The 10 metropolitan areas with the biggest lower-income tiers are toward the Southwest, several on the southern border. Two metropolitan areas in Texas, Laredo and Brownsville-Harlingen, lead the country in this respect—in both areas 47% of the adult population lived in lower-income households in 2014. Farming communities in central California, namely Visalia-Porterville, Fresno and Merced, are also in this group of lower-income areas. With the exception of Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the population in each of these lower-income metropolitan areas in 2014, compared with 17% nationally.
> As the middle of the income distribution hollowed around the country from 2000 to 2014, the movement was more up the economic ladder than down the ladder in some metropolitan areas (winners) while in other areas there was relatively more movement down the ladder (losers).
> Although other factors may also be at work, the 10 metropolitan areas with the greatest losses in economic status from 2000 to 2014 have one thing in common—a greater than average reliance on manufacturing.
> American households in all income tiers experienced a decline in their incomes from 1999 to 2014.
> The decline in household incomes at the national level reflected nearly universal losses across U.S. metropolitan areas.
Here in Mesa we get this "economic news"