January 17, 2012

A Majority of Americans See Conflict Between Rich and Poor

66%

About two-thirds (66%) of the public say there are strong conflicts between the rich and the poor.

About two-thirds (66%) of the public say there are strong conflicts between the rich and the poor, and nearly half of this group say these conflicts are “very strong.” Only 7% of people say there are no conflicts between rich and poor Americans.

The perception of strong and growing conflicts between the economic classes is held by those at the bottom and top of the income scale.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of adults with family incomes less than $20,000 a year perceive serious conflicts between the rich and poor—a view shared by 67% of those earning $75,000 a year or more.

Moreover, these perceptions of class conflict have grown in virtual lock step across all income groups since 2009. The belief that conflicts between rich and poor are strong or very strong This view rose by 17 percentage points among those earning less than $20,000 and by 18 points among those making $75,000 or more.

The increase in perception of class conflicts in society today is slightly larger among middle-income Americans, who earn between $40,000 and $75,000 per year. Among this group, the share who say there are ‘strong’ class conflicts increased by 24 points, from 47% in 2009 to 71% in the latest survey, conducted Dec 6-19, 2011 Read More