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Large percentage of Americans report they’re struggling to make ends meet

May 25, 2023

Almost 40% of American adults report they struggle to make ends meet each month, an increase from 34.4% in 2022 and 26.7% in 2021. At 46.2%, Louisiana had the highest percentage reporting financial struggles followed by Mississippi (45.7%) and Arkansas (45.6%). Additionally, 11.3% of adults in households in the U.S. experienced some or very frequent times when they did not have enough to eat from April 26 through May 17, 2023. That percentage fell below the national average in 24 states, with Louisiana weighing in with more people (15.6%) going hungry than anywhere else. Meanwhile, people in Montana (5.9%) reported the lowest level of struggling with hunger during the same period.

These numbers come from the Household Pulse Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in collaboration with multiple federal agencies. This survey produces data on the social and economic effects of coronavirus and other emergent issues on American households. The Census Bureau designed the survey to get results quickly and efficiently, disseminating data in near real-time.

The survey collects data on fourteen household characteristics, including spending and inflation concerns. Some additional findings for the week ending May 17 include the following:

  • In 15 states, 40% of American adults live in households where it has been somewhat or very difficult to pay for usual household expenses.
  • 25.1 million Americans are using credit cards to pay some portion of their monthly expenses.

You can check out additional results using the interactive tool here.