June 1, 2009

Better Off Feeling Worse Off

-20 Points

The share of higher-income Americans who feel satisfied financially has fallen from 85% to 65% in two years.

The overall decline in assessments of personal finances among Americans since 2007 has been especially sharp among those at the top of the income ladder. They remain more positive than those from households making less money, but the well off are far less positive than they used to be. Today, 65% of those in the highest income category — those with family incomes of $75,000 or more — say they are pretty well satisfied financially, down from 85% two years ago. Just 37% of those in the lowest income category ($20,000 or less) are currently satisfied with their financial situation, unchanged from 2007. The proportion of Republicans expressing satisfaction with their financial situation, which reached an all-time high of 81% in 2007, has fallen by 20 points in the current survey. There has been far less change in the views of independents and Democrats: Currently, 52% of independents and 49% of Democrats say they are pretty satisfied with their personal finances. Read More