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POLL: Americans Haven’t Been This Down On Their Personal Finances Since The Great Recession

Half of Americans say they are financially worse off now than a year ago, one of the few times 50% of Americans have reported being in a worse position since the great recession in 2008, according to a recent poll.

Of 1,011 respondents, 50% said they are worse off when reflecting on their personal financial situations, and only 35% reported being better off now than they were a year ago, according to the Gallup poll released Wednesday. In 2021 and 2022, Americans were evenly divided between 41% to 41% for being better off versus worse off, and in 2020, Americans were three times more likely to say they were better off, 59% to 20%.

Among lower-income respondents, 61% said their financial situation is worse following last year, and only 26% indicates it has improved, according to the poll. 

Across party lines, 61% of Republicans said they are worse off, while only 37% of Democrats said they are worse off, according to the poll. Democrats were more likely to say they were better off than worse off, 47% to 37%.

Despite reporting that they are worse off than last year, Americans are optimistic about the future, according to the poll. Of respondents, 60% elect to be in a better position next year, while only 28% expect to be in a worse position.

Across classes, 62% of lower-income Americans, 60% of middle-income Americans and 59% of upper-income Americans expect to be better off a year from now, according to the poll. While the prediction for the future is positive, it is less positive than responses recorded 2015 and 2020, including a record-high 74% “better off” reading in January 2020, according to the poll.

The poll, conducted between Jan. 2 and Jan. 22, has a margin of error of 4%.

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