Americans say they are ‘suffering’ more than since 2008
More Americans say they are « in pain » now than at any time in at least the past 14 years, a new poll released Monday reveals.
The Gallup « Life Evaluation » survey found that 5.6% of Americans report suffering, up from 4.8% in April this year and 4.7% in December 2008.
The poll classifies Americans as « thriving, » « struggling » or « suffering » based on how they rate their current and future situation on a scale of 0 to 10.
Respondents who rate their current and future life as 4 or less are considered ‘suffering’. Those who rate their current situation a 7 or more and their anticipated situation an 8 or more are considered “thriving”.
The results indicate that record inflation has weighed on Americas wallets and well-being, with the suffering rate climbing higher than during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic (4% in December 2020).
« Economic conditions are likely a major contributing factor to the deterioration of these scores, » Gallup said in its analysis.
« Despite adding 528,000 new jobs in July, continued high inflation is dampening the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, which is now at its lowest point since the Great Recession of 2009, » said the venerable survey company. “And even though the consumer price index fell to 8.5% in July – which brought relief to many investors – inflation remains near its highest level in 40 years and is the problem that Americans quote most often today in an open-ended question. »
The pollsters added that about 98 million Americans have cut back on health care spending or everyday household expenses due to rising medical costs.
The Misery Index will likely be midterm campaign fodder this fall, as Republicans seek to claw back House and Senate majorities and President Biden and Democrats try to hold on to power. Another survey released on Sunday found that 75% of voters believe the United States is on the wrong track, a worrying sign for Democrats.
The results of the “life assessment” were consistent across all political divisions.
The proportion of Republicans reporting « suffering » doubled to 5.4% from 2.7% in June 2021.
Likewise, the proportion of Democrats identified as suffering also nearly doubled from a year ago — to 5.4% from 2.9%.
Meanwhile, 6.2% of respondents who identify as independent or not affiliated with a political party say they are suffering, up from 4.7% in June last year.
The percentage of American adults estimated to be « thriving » has also steadily declined since hitting an all-time high of 59.2% in June 2021. Currently, 51.2% of Americans said they were thriving, the lowest since 48.2% said the same in December 2020. .
The lowest recorded “prosperity” rate of 46.4% has occurred twice – in November 2008 amid the Great Recession and in late April 2020, during the initial economic shutdown triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. 19.
Reports by Americans of stress also increased by 48% from 43% in July 2021, although they remain well below the 60% recorded in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.