Poll: Americans' Financial Worries Have Declined Since 2016

By Zenny Phuong | May 30, 2017 | 7:49pm EDT
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class LaTunya Howard)

(CNSNews.com) – A recent Gallup survey found that Americans’ anxieties about eight major financial issues have declined since 2016, suggesting Americans are less worried about their financial situation today than they were a year ago.

The top issues of financial concern for the more than 1,000 U.S. adults interviewed by Gallup were having insufficient funds for retirement, and unexpected medical costs for serious illness and accidents.

In April last year, 64 percent of respondents said they were “very” or “moderately” worried about retirement funds, and 60 percent felt the same way about unexpected medical costs.

Now, however, on both counts only 54 percent of respondents feel that way.

The largest drop in worry levels – 11 percentage points – was recorded for the issue of Americans’ concerns about maintaining their standard of living, from 51 points in 2016 down to 40.

“Worries about these issues, as well as concerns about not being able to pay housing costs, are at their lowest levels since 2007 or earlier,” Gallup said.


Republicans have shown a much more optimistic view of their financial situations since President Trump took office. Twenty-two percent say they are now less worried about being unable to maintain their ideal standard of living.

“Positivity among Republicans has extended to their personal lives, with members of the party reporting much less worry about financial issues than they did during Barack Obama’s tenure as a Democratic president,” the pollster said.

Democrats' levels of worry have generally remained the same since last year. The one exception is worries about not having enough money to pay for housing costs: Twelve percent fewer Democrats expressed that concern in 2017.

The poll also analyzed similar issues among upper, middle and lower-income Americans.

Lower-income Americans seems less worried about paying their housing costs now when compared to 2016, according to Gallup. But the ability to pay normal healthcare expenses and to afford their children’s college education are still major issues of concern, up six percent and five percent respectively.

Gallup said that the economy has improved since April 2016, “including a decline in the national unemployment rate of more than half a percentage point.”

At the same time it had advice for the party that now controls the White House and Congress.

“One of Republican leaders' greatest challenges – which could determine whether they retain their power – is improving economic conditions so that even Democrats feel some relief in their financial worries,” it said.

Gallup also noted that those earning least are not feeling relief.

“Not only are majorities of Americans who earn less than $30,000 worried about most of the issues Gallup polls on, but they are also about as worried in 2017 as they were last year, suggesting that improving conditions are not being felt at all income levels,” it commented.

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