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18% of Americans Say They Are Poor

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Despite record highs for the stock market and historic levels of employment, more Americans are describing themselves as poor these days.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 18% of American Adults now consider themselves poor. Twenty percent (20%) felt that way in 2016, President Obama’s final full year in office, but that finding had dropped to 13% a year ago.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) describe themselves as middle-class, little changed from past surveying, with another 17% who say they are upper middle class. Only four percent (4%) see themselves as wealthy. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on October 23-24, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

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