Simpsons' Middle Class Life Is Now Economically Unattainable : The Indicator from Planet Money The Simpsons were the quintessential American family when the show first aired back in 1989. But while the Simpsons have stayed largely the same, American middle class life has changed a lot.
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Are The Simpsons Still Middle Class?

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Are The Simpsons Still Middle Class?

Are The Simpsons Still Middle Class?

Are The Simpsons Still Middle Class?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/973050861/973051299" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images
(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Back in 1989, the very first episode of The Simpsons aired on Fox. Since then, the Simpsons have become an iconic American family: The dopey, good hearted Homer; Marge, the rock of the family; three kids; two cars; a dog and a house. Money's always tight but they make it work.

Over 30 years later, however, the Simpsons' life doesn't feel so normal anymore. The idea that you could have one breadwinner working a job at a power plant supporting a family of five in the suburbs seems a little ... unattainable.

On The Indicator we look at economic data, including median income, the cost of college tuition, women in the workforce and manufacturing jobs, from 30 years ago and today to see how American life has changed and whether Homer Simpson is still America's economic everyman.

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