Americans’ Standard of Living at 6-Year High
Life + Money

Americans’ Standard of Living at 6-Year High


The standard of living in this country has risen to a six-year high as of May, with the economy and the job market continuing to improve, a new Gallup survey reports.

The polling firm’s U.S. Standard of Living Index increased to 47 in May, the highest score recorded since Gallup started tracking this measure in 2008.

The index stood at 44 in April and fell as low as 14 in October and November 2008, during the height of the financial crisis.

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“Americans’ improved views of their standard of living mirror their increased perceptions of job creation, which also reached a new high in May,” noted Gallup in a statement. “Furthermore, Americans’ self-reported spending increased sharply last month, and their views of the economy’s current and future health improved.”

The Labor Department released its job report this morning, indicating a solid hiring pace in May.

To compile its index, Gallup asked a random sampling of over 3,000 adults in a telephone survey whether they were satisfied with their current standard of living, and whether their standard of living was getting better or worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of 100 (if all respondents say they’re satisfied with their standard of living and say it is getting better). Looking ahead, nearly 60 percent of Americans told Gallup they felt their standard of living was getting better – also the highest on record.

In May, 80 percent of Americans were satisfied with their standard of living, while 20 percent said they were dissatisfied.

“The lingering question is whether these improvements will continue as the year progresses,” concluded Gallup.

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