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More Americans than ever report “suffering,” new Gallup poll finds

More Americans than ever say they are suffering, according to the Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index for July.

“Since reaching a record high in June 2021, life ratings among American adults have steadily worsened,” Gallup reported. “The 5.6 percent suffering rate in July marks the first time the Gallup measure has exceeded 5 percent in the United States and translates to an estimated 14 million American adults.”

Using a metric called the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, Gallup asked respondents to rate their current lives and anticipated lives in five years on a scale of 1 to 10 and classified them as “suffering,” “struggling” or “thriving” based on their responses.

In June 2021, just 2.9 percent of Democrats, 4.7 percent of Independents and 2.7 percent of Republicans were classified as “suffering.” Since then, the “suffering” rate has doubled among Republicans to 5.4 percent; nearly doubled among Democrats, also to 5.4 percent; and climbed significantly among Independents to 6.2 percent.

Americans’ dismal outlook on their current and future lives likely is caused by equally dismal economic conditions, Gallup noted. Inflation soared to record highs for months on end, reaching a peak of 9.1 percent in June before finally cooling slightly to 8.5 percent in July. The U.S. economy also entered a recession in July after recording two quarters of negative economic growth, despite the Biden administration’s attempts to spin the numbers. These factors also have dragged the Gallup Economic Confidence Index to its lowest levels since the Great Recession.

Gallup’s findings also come after several studies have shown just how severely inflation has affected Americans. Recent data from LendingClub showed that 61 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, including more than one-third of Americans making more than $200,000 a year, up from 55 percent in 2021. Another study from the University of Iowa found that rural Americans are spending 91 percent of their after-tax income on their day-to-day expenses.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice