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Bay State residents are feeling the pinch from rising costs of living and the lack of access to good paying jobs, according to recent surveys conducted by the MassINC Polling Group (MPG). About half (54%) believe that it has become more difficult to afford the kind of life they want to live, while just 11 percent said it has become easier (Figure 1). Among residents who identify themselves as middle class, about one in three (32%) now say they are in danger of falling out of the middle class. These anxieties are in line with a recent MassINC study showing declining financial security for Massachusetts residents over the last decade across a range of indicators.