YouGov Research: Exploring perceptions of financial security among American consumers

Latest paper examines the notion of financial security through the lens of demographics, consumer habits, financial circumstances, and attitudinal measures to illuminate the role financial security plays in our understanding of the broader psychological notion of wealth

NEW YORK, June 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Feeling financially secure—and insecure—affects what people say about their finances, life satisfaction, and overall well-being, according to YouGov's Financial Security survey, released today. The survey gathered data from 24,070 US adults who agreed or disagreed with the statement, “I consider myself financially secure” and examines the main drivers behind these feelings of financial security and how they affect consumer’s habits, attitudes, and future outlook.

According to survey findings, Gen Xers are the most likely to feel financially insecure (49%), followed by Millennials (40%). The Silent Generation is the most likely to feel financially secure (51%).

“When people talk about their financial security, they’re talking about more than just how much money they make or spend,” says Charlie Taylor, Head of US Client Services at YouGov. “Income certainly plays into these perceptions but feeling financially secure means something different to each person, making it a highly personal state.”

Respondents who lacked a clear sense of financial security seem to be as much preoccupied with worrying as they are preoccupied with money itself. When compared with the national average, the results suggest that an individual’s perception of their own sense of financial security is tied to emotional associations as much as it is to financial circumstances:

  • 80 percent worry they’ll never be able to save for a rainy day (vs. 51% of Nat Rep)
  • 72 percent worry a lot (vs. 55% of Nat Rep)
  • 71 percent don’t look after their health as much as they should (vs. 59% of Nat Rep)
  • 68 percent often experience anxiety about their lives (vs. 49% of Nat Rep)
  • 61 percent only go to the dentist if they absolutely need to (vs. 48% of Nat Rep)

The survey also examined feelings of financial security through the lens of two financial circumstances—student debt and home ownership—to reveal additional trends:

  • Debt relief plays a strong role in feeling financially secure: 34 percent of respondents who are paying off student loans feel financially secure, and 45 percent of those who have paid off their student loans feel financially secure.
  • Among those who have never had a student loan, there is a marginal difference between individuals who agree (38%) and disagree (40%) that they are financially secure.
  • 27 percent of Americans who do not own property feel financially secure. Among respondents who own a home, 50 percent feel financially secure.

In regard to how financial security affects other aspects of people’s lives, YouGov examined whether or not people are happy and if they look forward to their futures:

  • 38 percent of Americans agree that happiness and financial security seem to go hand-in-hand
  • 24 percent of Americans assess that they are financially insecure yet are still happy
  • 35 percent of respondents who consider themselves financially secure carry a positive outlook for their future, whereas, among respondents who disagree with the statement, only 17 percent express excitement about their futures.

Additional insights observed among financially secure respondents include: 

  • A higher likelihood to hold credit card accounts with Ally Bank, Bank of America, BB&T, and Wells Fargo versus the average American
  • Consider their health as “excellent” (37% vs. 16% of Nat Rep)
  • Are more predisposed to have a financial advisor (36% vs. 17% of Nat Rep)
  • Consider maintaining a healthy diet very important (44% vs. 28% of Nat Rep)

YouGov Plan and Track use digital tracking technology and daily online surveys to collect a variety of opinions, attitudes, and behaviors. The survey was conducted between October 31 to November 2, 2018, and all interviews were conducted online among US adults aged 18 and over.

Download the full report for free here

About YouGov:
YouGov is a global provider of analysis and data generated by research in 42 markets from an online panel of over 7 million. As market research pioneers, YouGov’s data consistently outperforms others on the accuracy, as concluded by Pew Research. Combine that with our advanced analytical technology, powered by, and we are able to generate the most accurate, complete, and dynamic portrait of the world. To learn more, visit

Media Contact:
YouGov Press
1 (646) 213-7414