Record share of Americans say they are worse off financially than one year earlier: survey

Credit card, cash in wallet
AP/Jenny Kane
In this Aug. 11, 2019 file photo, U.S. currency and credit cards sit on a table at a restaurant in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

A record share of Americans in a new survey from the Federal Reserve Board say they’re worse off financially than they were a year earlier.

According to the “Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households” report, the 35 percent of adults who reported they were worse off in 2022 than they year prior is the highest share recorded since the survey first asked the question in 2014.

Americans’ financial well-being “declined markedly” between 2021 and 2022, with the share of adults who said they were doing “at least okay” financially down 5 points to 73 percent last year. A release notes this figure is among the lowest levels observed since 2016. 

Fifty-four percent of adults said their budgets had been affected “a lot” by increased prices in the U.S. — and that figure was higher among Black adults, Hispanic adults, parents living with children under 18 and people with disabilities. 

The share of adults who reported they’d spent less than their income in the month before taking the survey also fell last year to below the level it had been before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The declines in financial wellbeing across these measures provide an indication of how families were affected by broader economic conditions in 2022, such as inflation and stock market declines,” the report reads.

Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle W. Bowman said in the release that the survey results “provide helpful insights into the economic well-being of Americans” and added “it is important that we continue to refine our understanding of the economic challenges facing U.S. households.”

Tags Economy Federal Reserve Board Survey

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