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The majority of Americans are now worried about maintaining their standard of living

A majority of Americans say they are worried about maintaining their standard of living, according to the results of a poll released Monday by Gallup.

Fifty-two percent said they were worried about their standard of living, up four points from 2020. This is the first time a majority has been worried about being able to maintain their standard of living since 2016, said Gallup.

Concerns are even more pronounced for low-income Americans. The share of Americans earning $40,000 or less who say they are concerned about maintaining their standard of living has jumped 17 points from 56% in 2021 to 73% today. It rose six points to 52% among middle-income people, defined as earning between $40,000 and $100,000, and four points to 36% among the top income group.

Sixty-five percent of low-income Americans say they worry about having enough money to pay their monthly bills, up 15 percentage points from a year ago. Fifty-nine percent say they are worried about paying housing costs, including rent and mortgages, up 12 points from 2021. Seventy-five percent say they are worried about not have enough savings for retirement, also up 12 points.

Low-income households are also more concerned about health care costs. Paying medical bills for a serious illness or accident is a concern for 72% of low-income Americans, up 10 points. Paying regular medical bills is a concern for 62% of low-income Americans, up nine points.

For the population as a whole, there was little change in the proportion of adults worried about paying medical bills for normal health care (43%), paying medical bills for a serious illness or accident (56%) or paying for child care. college education (36%). The proportion of high-income adults who said they were worried about being able to afford health care actually fell slightly.

But high-income Americans have also seen an increase in economic anxiety. The share of people concerned about paying monthly bills has more than doubled, from 7% last year to 18% today. Similarly, the share of respondents who fear paying their housing costs has risen from 7% to 15%.
The latest results are based on the Gallup Economics and Personal Finance Poll, conducted April 1-19. The poll also found that Americans’ financial health ratings dropped significantly, with one-third citing inflation and 10% citing energy costs as the top financial issues facing their families.


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