The Recession’s Toll

Feb 25, 2009 3:00pm

In two strong signs of the recession’s toll, 57 percent of Americans say they’re under personal stress as a result of the country's economic crisis – and nearly half are worried about keeping up with their rent or mortgage payments.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll on the public’s economic anxiety underscores these and other challenges facing the nation’s struggling economy. Check back here for the full poll’s release at 5 p.m. today.

Among the results: Not only do nearly six in 10 say current economic conditions are a source of stress in their lives, but one in four say it’s “serious” stress. And those numbers skyrocket in some of the most economically challenged groups.

Among  people who feel financially insecure, for instance, a vast 79 percent are under stress; if “very” insecure, 89 percent. Indeed large numbers in these groups, 44 and 65 percent respectively, report “serious” personal stress as a result of the economy.

Stress also peaks in the middle age groups, people age 30 to 64, who tend to have more financial commitments. In this group 64 percent report stress from the economy, far higher than the level of economic stress among people under 30, or 65 and older.

Stress also relates to confidence in retirement savings. Among people who are confident in their savings, just 22 percent report stress. If not confident, that soars by 50 points, to 72 percent. And “serious” stress peaks at 50 percent of people who are not at all confident they’ll have enough income and assets to last through their retirement.

Stress also hits hard among people who are concerned about making their rent or mortgage: In this group 79 percent report economic stress, 45 percent, “serious” stress. And that’s a large and growing group: Forty-six percent in this survey are concerned about having enough money to pay their housing costs – up 9 points just since December. One in four is very concerned.

Housing concerns peak, naturally, among financially insecure Americans. In this group a remarkable 67 percent say they’re concerned about coming up with the money to pay their rent or mortgage – 40 percent, very concerned.

Again, check back for the full poll at 5 p.m.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus