Poll Finds 15 Percent of Americans in Worse Financial Shape Than Before Pandemic

Apr 21, 2021Financial Literacy, News

A new poll from Impact Genome and The Associated Press (AP)-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that nearly 38 million Americans are struggling more today than they were before the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

2,374 American adults were polled between February 12 and March 3 of this year, with 15 percent reporting that their financial situation has worsened. “I am slowly getting back on my feet but am nowhere near where I was before COVID,” said poll respondent Britney Frick, according to an article in The Hill covering the poll. 

Alternatively, 55 percent of respondents reported that their financial well being is mostly the same as it was before the pandemic, and 30 percent said their financial state has improved. The U.S. unemployment rate is also recovering, but the AP reported that the country still has 8.4 million fewer jobs than in February 2020. 

Many Americans who were already living below the federal poverty level are in a worse financial state than when the pandemic started. 29 percent of those Americans reported that they have struggled to pay bills within the last three months, and only 16 percent reported being able to set aside money for savings. 

The poll found that the majority of respondents who reported being in worse financial shape were Black or Hispanic Americans. Only 39 percent of Black Americans and 47 percent of Hispanics said they were recently able to save money, whereas 57 percent of white Americans reported the same.

The poll results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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