Poll: Majority of Americans Feel Record-High Optimism About Their Personal Finances

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Nearly six in ten Americans, or 56 percent, say they are now better off than they were last year, up 50 percent from last year alone.

The data comes from Gallup’s annual Mood of the Nation survey and was conducted January 2-15 following months of historically low unemployment rates and the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching close to the 30,000 mark for the first time.

Gallup reported on Americans’ personal finance confidence:

The current 59 percent of Americans who say they are better off financially than they were a year ago is essentially tied for the all-time high of 58 percent in January 1999. That was recorded during the dot-com boom, with conditions similar to the current state of the economy — a stock market rocketing to then-record highs and unemployment at multidecade lows — though GDP growth was higher at that time.

From 1998 to 2000, at least half of Americans rated their financial situation better than that of a year ago. However, in most surveys from 2001 to 2018, the percentage saying their personal finances were better off than the previous year was under 50 percent — with a low of 23 percent in May 2009, during the Great Recession.

In addition to U.S. adults’ highly positive report on their current financial situation, Americans are also expressing peak optimism about their future personal financial situation. About three in four U.S. adults (74 percent) predict they will be better off financially a year from now, the highest in Gallup’s trend since 1977.

The Gallup poll also reveals that 76 percent of Republicans say they are better off today than a year ago about their finances, while 43 percent of Democrats say the same.

A smaller gap in future financial security exists between Republicans and Democrats — 83 percent and 60 percent respectively.

Independents poll in between the GOP and Democrats with 58 percent responding they are better off now than a year ago and 76 percent saying they will be better off next year.

“These views align with President Donald Trump’s contention that Americans are doing better under his presidency, and with his use of the economy and job growth as key selling points for his reelection,” Gallup reported. “Republicans’ positive views on their finances are something of a given for a GOP president, at least during good economic times.”

Poll results come from a random sample of 1,014 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Results are based on the total sample of national adults, and the margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level. Each sample of adults includes a “minimum quota of 70 percent cellphone respondents and 30 percent landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.”

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