Financial stability and well-being are closely-knit for American consumers

Cheryl Kar
October 19, 2021, 9:56 AM UTC

A new survey by YouGov examines how present income is closely related to the perception of health among US adults 

The pandemic has, of course, taken a toll on the health of many Americans. But there looks to be significant differences in the way personal health is perceived, depending on the income level of those we ask.

Data from YouGov Profiles, an audience intelligence tool indicates a wide disparity in the perception of health between Financially Comfortable Americans (i.e. US adults who tell us they are comfortable and coping on their present income) and Financially Constrained Americans (i.e. US adults who are not coping well and struggling on present income).

For starters, more than three in five Financially Comfortable Americans consider themselves to be mentally healthy (63%) and more than half of this group also think they are emotionally keeping well (56%). A similar proportion tell us they are physically fit (54%) too and while social wellness emerges last on this group’s list, half of this audience are happy to regard themselves as socially healthy (50%). Overall, just one in ten Financially Comfortable Americans are likely to report themselves as unhealthy (11%). 

Yet it’s a very different story when we look at Financially Constrained Americans. Just two in five in this group perceive themselves to be mentally healthy (40% compared to 63% of the comfortable group). Coming a close second are those in this audience who say they are doing well emotionally (35% vs 56%). Only a third feel they are physically healthy (30% vs 54% of those who are comfortable), followed by those who say they are socially healthy (28% vs 50% of Financially Comfortable Americans). More than a quarter of Financially Constrained Americans feel they are unhealthy (27% vs 11% of the comfortable group).  

Overall, Financially Comfortable Americans are significantly more likely to consider themselves healthier in every category – and approaching twice as likely to say so for social and physical health. 

Clearly, there is a close relationship between financial stability and consumers’ perception of their health. This data doesn’t reveal if the pandemic has exacerbated those differences but it’s likely that uncertainty around jobs, income, inflation and other economic factors won’t have helped the health of those who were already struggling.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Data is from the 3 October 2021 dataset. YouGov Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles. 

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