Look what’s happened to an income of $40,000. In 2015, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), based in Washington, D.C., looked at incomes in Washington state and found that a salary of $40,000 was still middle class. It was smack-dab in the middle of middle-earning incomes in the state.
In 2018, ITEP looked again. This time, $40,000 had slipped a notch, to the second-lowest 20 percent of earners. The reason: More people in the state were making higher-end incomes.