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'Middle class shrinking around the world'

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Middle-income households are disappearing in developed countries around the world, according to a new study by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Paris: Middle-income households are disappearing in developed countries around the world, according to a new study by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The study, titled "Under Pressure: The Squeezed Middle Class", laid out a litany of problems affecting middle-income households, warning that "this could have serious consequences for nations' economic growth and social fabric", CNN reported on Thursday.

"Today the middle class looks increasingly like a boat in rocky waters," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said in a statement. "Governments must listen to people's concerns and protect and promote middle-class living standards."

According to the study, the share of people in middle-income households in developed countries fell from 64 per cent in the mid-1980s to only 61 per cent by the mid-2010s.

However the declines were larger in several countries, including the US, Israel, Germany, Canada, Finland and Sweden, it added.

In the US, just over 50 per cent of the population is middle class, much smaller than most other developed countries.

The report considers households earning between 75 per cent and 200 per cent of the median national income as middle class.

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