November 27, 2011The MetroWest Daily News
MassINC, the nonpartisan think tank based in Boston, has taken a shot at the last challenge, creating an index to track the vitality of the middle class.
The Middle Class Index includes 26 separate indicators, including household income, homeownership, health coverage, student debt, length of commute, personal bankruptcies, college completion rate and number of jobs per household. It breaks the indicators into four subindexes: financial security, working conditions, "achieving the dream," and equal opportunity. The study's authors then established 2000 as a baseline year, giving its indicators a benchmark 100 points, then measured 2010 against it in Massachusetts and other states.