August 18, 2008

Better Off Now Than 5 Years Ago

41%

Only about four-in-ten U.S. adults now say they are better off today than they were five years ago — the most downbeat assessment of personal progress in more than four decades of polling on this question.

Only about four-in-ten U.S. adults now say they are better off today than they were five years ago — the most downbeat assessment of personal progress in more than four decades of polling on this questionby the Pew Research Center and the Gallup Organization. Two trends may contribute to this malaise: Median annual household income in the United States is below the peak it reached in 1999, after adjusting for inflation, one of the longest slumps for this key indicator in modern U.S. history; and those in the upper income tier have done better than those in the middle and lowertiers – not just during this decade’s downturn, but through good times and bad stretching back to the early 1970s. Read More