How middle- and low-income Americans are doing financially

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  • Inflation in the United States is at its highest level in four decades, and Americans of all income brackets are feeling the pressure.
  • In May, Gallup highlighted Americans’ concerns about finances — from paying rent to covering medical bills.
  • These charts show the financial situation of Americans based on various results and survey data.

americans are inflation stressed, which is at its highest level in four decades. They see the impact of inflation when they travel and spend money on goods and services like races, flights and gas.

“Everyone buys food, everyone buys gas, everyone pays utility bills, so it affects everyone,” Jeffrey Jones, editor at Gallup, told Insider. “Obviously, people with higher incomes can absorb these price increases more easily than people with lower incomes.”

As Insider recently reported, Americans aren’t feeling so good about the US economy in general, with the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index free fall to a new monthly low in June. Gallup’s economic confidence index fell to -45 in May, which Jones wrote is Gallup’s “lowest trending reading during the coronavirus pandemic, and likely the lowest confidence since the end of the Great


Recession

early 2009.”

Jones pointed out to Insider a Gallup poll asking Americans how they rate their finances. For middle incomes, 55% said their finances were excellent or good in 2021, which is higher than the 41% of middle income respondents who said this in 2022. Their finances are excellent or good as in 2021. Somewhat less than a quarter of low-income respondents said their finances were excellent or good in the 2022 survey.

But rising prices don’t affect all Americans equally.

With half of American adults residing in middle-income households and low-income households feeling inflationary pressures more than high-income households, we looked at survey results and data over time to see how Americans’ financial situation was faring and how they felt faced with their situation.

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