Nearly half of American adults are having trouble covering household expenses, Census poll shows

Rate is up from height of pandemic after roughly a year of inflation.

Published: July 26, 2022 12:27pm

Updated: July 26, 2022 1:40pm

Nearly half of American adults are having trouble paying for basic household necessities, new Census Bureau data show, a sign of continued struggling amid economic turmoil and record-high inflation. 

Data from the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey show around 150,000,000 American adults reporting "difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the last 7 days," according to the survey. (Around 78,000,00 adults—the largest single share of respondents—reported it "not at all difficult.") 

Those numbers are up markedly since August of 2020, the first time the Census asked the question, when a little over 130,000,000 Americans reported difficulty meeting financial obligations. 

The rising numbers come after many months of record inflation eating away at savings and earning power, with Americans shelling out significantly more on groceries and gasoline today than they were in late 2020. 

Economists have blamed the financial difficulties on economic turmoil from the pandemic, supply chain crises, and inflation stemming from ramped-up government spending. 

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