Gallup: Fewer In U.S. Can Afford Food

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) — The percentage of U.S. adults who had enough money for food fell to 79.8 percent in October from 80.1 percent in September, a Gallup Poll says.

Americans’ access to basic needs is now at the lowest level recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it in January 2008.

This measure — which asks if one had enough money to buy food in the past 12 months — has decreased to its lowest level of the calendar year each October since 2009.

The reason for this pattern is unclear and does not appear to be related to world food prices, Gallup officials said.

The Basic Access Index — which comprises 13 measures, including Americans’ ability to afford food, housing and healthcare — declined to a record-low score of 81.2 in October — meaning Americans’ access to basic needs, though still high in an absolute sense, is now worse than it was throughout the economic crisis and recession, including prior record lows recorded in February and March 2009.

Americans’ access to basic needs is now at the lowest level recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it in January 2008. In November 2008, at the start of the economic crisis, 79.4 percent reported that they had enough money to buy food for themselves or their families.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks well-being in the United States, Britain and Germany. The telephone survey of 30,289 adults was conducted Oct. 1-31. The survey has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

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