New Survey Finds 54 Percent of Americans are Not Financially Prepared to Manage Contagious Disease Outbreak

Mar 16, 2020Financial Literacy, News

According to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential Financial, 54 percent of Americans say that they are not financially prepared to manage a contagious disease outbreak that requires quarantines and limits their ability to work for several weeks. The survey was conducted between February 20-21 and February 25-27, 2020 with national samples of 2,201 and 2,026 adults, respectively. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

The survey also found that 45 percent of Americans are concerned about an outbreak of contagious disease which would limit their ability to work for several weeks due to quarantines. 45 percent also worry about potential losses to their investment or retirement accounts due to the effects of the virus on the stock market.

Between the sample taken on February 20-21 and the one taken on February 25-27, several key topics demonstrated a rising concern, with substantially higher percentages of adults saying they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned on the later survey date. On February 20-21, only 54 percent of adults expressed concern about rising prices due to disruptions in the production of goods and parts from China, compared with 64 percent five days later. 

Similarly, 45 percent expressed concern about factory and business closures in the United States due to disruptions in Chinese production. By the second sample date, that number had jumped 14 percentage points to 59 percent.

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