Most adults in the United States believe their children will be worse off than them, according to a new poll.
A poll from the Wall Street Journal and NORC from the University of Chicago found that nearly every indicator of economic pessimism was sky-high. Almost half of the 1,019 adult respondents feared that the economy would get worse next year, while 4 out of 5 said the economy was not very good or poor. More than half said that it wouldn’t be easy to find a job with comparable pay and benefits.
Perhaps the bleakest measurement was the answers to the question asking whether respondents are confident that their children’s generation will have better lives than them. Only 21% said they felt confident, with 78% answering in the negative, a record high since the first recording in 1990.
“That strikes me as something that’s kind of an intractable level of pessimism,” Vice President of Public Affairs and Media Research at NORC Jennifer Benz told the Wall Street Journal.
“No matter how much they increase your pay, everything else is going up,” respondent and mother Kristy Morrow told the outlet. “I do fear that for the kids.”
While most respondents were pessimistic about the economy, Republicans were more likely to have a negative view than Democrats.
The poll found that respondents’ biggest fear was inflation; nearly two-thirds said that inflation was “very concerning,” with just 4% saying it wasn’t a concern. Every other measurement: student loan debt, child care costs, housing, and healthcare costs, saw less than half of respondents say it was “very concerning.”
The interviews occurred during the first half of March, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level among all adults.