Infographic: The financially happy now outnumber the unhappy

For the first time in almost a decade – since before the Great Recession wreaked havoc on household budgets – Americans who feel rosy about their finances have become a majority.

The edge financially happy Americans have over those who feel negatively about their monetary lives is ever so slight. Gallup reports that 50 percent of Americans rated their financial situation as excellent or good in April 2016, compared to 49 percent who rated it as “only fair” or “poor.”

Minimal as the shift might be, it constitutes a watershed moment after eight years of negative ratings dominating Gallup’s annual findings, with financially unhappy Americans numbering almost 60 percent in recent years.

Back in 2007, the ratio was flipped: 55-45 in favor of Americans who felt financially satisfied. When the Great Recession hit in 2008, the proportions dramatically reversed, and then degraded further for several years afterward.

Since 2013, positive ratings have been on the rise. The feeling-good-about-their-finances crowd hit 46 percent in 2015.

Gallup's latest Economy and Personal Finance survey was conducted via telephone interviews April 6-10, 2016, with a random sample of 1,015 adults ages 18 and older. Results were weighted to match the national demographics of the U.S. population and were released May 5.



See related: 4 authors on how better credit can make you happy, More infographics

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Updated: 03-18-2019