New Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Shows Increase in Americans’ Economic Anxiety

Americans’ economic anxiety has increased in the last three months, reflecting themes heard on the campaign trail and those expressed by British voters in last week’s Brexit vote

LOS ANGELES--()--The latest Marketplace-Edison Research poll showed Americans’ stress over their personal financial situations building even before Brexit. Despite a fundamentally strong U.S. economy, Americans’ personal economic anxiety has increased since the Fall of 2015, when polling began. Heightened anxiety is due to a variety of factors such as Americans having an increased fear of losing their job in the next 12 months and their overall feeling of financial security.

“There’s a broad perception of inequality, a feeling that a small group of people is getting wealthier at the expense of a large group of people who are suffering. I think that there is an effect that starts to take hold and wear people down, and I think we’re seeing some of that in our poll,” said Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research. “I think the Brexit vote that we saw reflects a similar kind of aspect over in the U.K.”

New Findings

  • 71 % of Americans think that the economic system is “rigged” in favor of certain groups. This is true across all demographic groups, among Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and across all income levels.
  • 62% of Americans say that good jobs are difficult to find in the area where they live.
  • When asked to describe the presidential election, 70% of Americans thought the word “embarrassed” described it well. Almost as many (69%) said “afraid” was a good way to describe their feeling about the election.
  • About a quarter (24%) of Americans haven’t gone away on vacation in more than five years.
  • 87% percent of Americans are very closely or somewhat closely following the presidential election.
  • Americans are also more dissatisfied with their choices for president than they were three months ago. Now that presumptive nominees have emerged, only 14% of respondents are “very satisfied” with their choices for president, with nearly half (47%) “very dissatisfied.”

The Economic Anxiety Index continues to be a good metric to follow throughout the rest of the election cycle as how voters continue to pay attention to the Presidential and local races. This important metric is a measure of personal economic anxiety on a scale from 0-100. The higher the number, the more economic stress someone is feeling. Marketplace and Edison Research worked together to develop this tool using the responses to poll questions about respondents own financial situations.

Marketplace-Edison Research Poll Methodology

The Marketplace Edison Research Survey is a national survey of Americans ages 18 years and older. A total of 1,022 respondents were interviewed with 501 interviews conducted by telephone and 521 interviews conducted online. Among the telephone interviews, 301 were conducted via a landline phone and 200 interviews conducted via a cell phone so that we could achieve the proper proportion of coverage of households in the United States that do not have a landline phone. The landline and cell phone sample of phone numbers and the email addresses for the online survey were provided by Survey Sampling International (SSI).

The average length of the telephone interviews was sixteen minutes. The telephone interviews were conducted from May 18th – 24th, 2016.

The data was weighted to match the most recent United States population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for age, gender, race and region of the country.

With a total sample size of 1,022 respondents, the calculated margin of error with a 95% confidence interval for results among the entire sample is +/- 3%. The calculated margins of error for results among smaller sub-groups are higher.

About Marketplace

The Marketplace® portfolio of programs are produced and distributed by American Public Media®, one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world. Marketplace®, Marketplace Weekend®, Marketplace Morning Report® and Marketplace Tech® are currently broadcast by nearly 800 public radio stations nationwide and heard by more than 12 million weekly listeners. Marketplace® has the largest broadcast audience of any business news program, on radio or television, in the country. Marketplace® programs also have a robust digital audience, with more than 5 million podcast downloads and stream requests every month, on apps like iTunes, Slacker and TuneIn. Marketplace® programs are noted for their timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance, focusing on the latest national and international business news, the global economy and wider events linked to the financial markets. For more information on Marketplace® programs, visit For more information on American Public Media, visit

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio and StreamGuys. Data are estimates only.

About Edison Research Since its founding in 1994, Edison Research has conducted over 11,000 research assignments in 38 countries. Edison works with a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institute, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Siemens, SiriusXM Radio, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Univision Communications.

Since 2003, Edison Research has been the sole provider of exit poll information to ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press, having conducted exit polls and collected precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. Edison recently completed its 2016 Presidential Primary and Caucus coverage, and is currently preparing for the November 2016 General Election. This exit poll is the largest single-day survey research project in the world, with more than 100,000 interviews.


American Public Media
Meggan Ellingboe, 213-621-3542

Release Summary

Marketplace Edison Research release latest poll measuring Americans' personal economic anxiety. 71% Americans think economy is rigged.


American Public Media
Meggan Ellingboe, 213-621-3542