The latest survey from Yahoo Finance and The Harris Poll explores people’s sense of well-being right now and in the near future. Results show that on every single measure of well-being, more people expect things to get worse in the next three months than expect things to get better. This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll within the U.S. from August 7-10 among a nationally representative sample of 1,021 American adults.
Americans report that four years ago, they were most concerned about the healthcare system.
- Three-fourths (75%) say they were very/somewhat concerned (with nearly 4 in 10 saying very concerned).
- This level is closely followed by those saying they were very/somewhat concerned about the education system (72%), the environment (71%), the U.S. economy (69%) and public safety (69%).
- Those ages 35-44 seem to have been most concerned about these top issues, with nearly half (47%) saying they were veryconcerned about the healthcare system, and over half (56%) saying the same about the education system
But right now, the #1 issue Americans are very/somewhat concerned about is public safety (88%), even over the coronavirus pandemic (86%), the U.S. economy (87%), and the healthcare system – their top concern four years ago (87%).
- This concern about public safety spikes to an even larger majority of women (93%) compared with men (82%). For women, public safety is closely followed by the economy (90%), the education system (90%), the coronavirus (89%), and the healthcare system (88%).
- Men, on the other hand, are still most concerned about the healthcare system (85%), closely followed by the coronavirus (84%) and the U.S. economy (84%).
- Four in 10 (40%) of African Americans said they were not very/not at all concerned about public safety four years ago, but this number has greatly reduced and only 12% of them are not very/not at all concerned with public safety right now.
And when it comes to their biggest concerns, Americans are not very confident that things will be much better three months from now.
- When it comes to the following, over 4 in 10 Americans believe they will be much/somewhat worse in three months: the U.S. economy (51%), the education system (47%), the coronavirus pandemic (44%), public safety (41%), the healthcare system (40%).
- Even though a lower 82% of Americans said they are very/somewhat concerned about the national debt, this is the issue that American’s predict will worsen most over time with 62% saying it will be much/somewhat worse in three months.
- Men are across the board more optimistic than women, including when it comes to public safety. A third of men (32%) this issue will be much/somewhat better in three months, while only 17% of women agree.
When it comes to Americans’ financial security today versus four years ago, a majority (56%), say they are much/somewhat better off. However, when just looking at how their situations have changed since the start of 2020, things are not so optimistic.
- Over half (52%) of Americans say their financial position is much/somewhat worse off compared to the start of 2020.
- Women are getting hit harder this year than men, with 56% of women reporting they are much/somewhat worse off compared to 47% of men.
- The younger generation (ages 18-34) is not feeling so pessimistic, however. Six in 10 (61%) of millennials said compared to 4 years ago they are much/somewhat better off, and 54% still say this is the case compared to the start of 2020.