NPR
                Online

NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Poll

Poverty in America

As shown, some questions were asked only of subsets of respondents (e.g., people who said they knew about the new welfare law). The tables identify whether the results reflect percentages of the overall population or percentages of a subset. In some cases results for particular income-level subgroups are not shown because there were too few respondents on which to report. Some demographic questions are not shown, but all questions are presented in the order in which they were asked. An asterisk (*) indicates a response of less than 1%.

Return to the Summary or skip to a section:

I. General Background | II. Why Are People Poor? | III. Perceptions of Poor People | IV. The Government's Role | V. Perceptions of Welfare and Welfare Recipients | VI. Perceptions of the New Welfare Law | VII. Personal Experience with Economic Problems | VIII. Demographics


VII.  Personal Experience with Economic Problems

44.When you think of your situation today, do you think of yourself as poor or not?
(Results for respondents who rate their own financial situation today as only fair or poor)
[Total =1105, <100% =253, 100-200%=465, 200%+ =387]

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

35

64

1

<100%

77

21

2

100-200%

44

54

2

200%+

20

80

1

4/44 Summary Table

   

FINANCIAL SITUATION IS FAIR/POOR

 
 

Financial situation is excellent/good

NET

Think of yourself as poor

Do not think of yourself as poor

Donít know

Total

50

49

17

32

*

<100%

16

84

65

18

--

100-200%

24

75

33

41

*

200%+

60

39

8

31

*

45. Thinking about your own family - both your immediate family living here and your other close relatives like aunts, uncles, cousins and so on - as far as you know, is anyone in your family poor?
(Results for total respondents)

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

36

63

1

<100%

54

46

*

100-200%

41

59

1

200%+

32

67

1

46. Do you have any close friends who are poor?
(Results for total respondents)

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

48

50

1

<100%

71

28

1

100-200%

59

39

2

200%+

43

56

1

47. In the past year, have you or someone in your immediate family had a SERIOUS problem with any of the following?
(Results for total respondents)


Being unable to find child care or being forced to take your child out of childcare because you canít pay.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

15

82

2

<100%

21

77

3

100-200%

21

76

3

200%+

13

85

2

Falling behind in your rent or mortgage payments.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

28

71

1

<100%

42

56

3

100-200%

31

69

*

200%+

26

73

1

Falling behind in your gas, electric, or phone bills.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

33

65

1

<100%

53

47

*

100-200%

41

56

2

200%+

29

70

1

Being unable to pay for adequate transportation to get to work or school.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

18

81

1

<100%

40

57

3

100-200%

22

77

1

200%+

14

85

1

Being unable to get medical care because of the cost.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

32

67

1

<100%

51

48

1

100-200%

40

59

1

200%+

27

72

1

Having trouble paying a credit card balance.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

40

58

2

<100%

38

59

3

100-200%

39

59

1

200%+

40

57

2

Having too little money to buy enough food.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

23

76

1

<100%

52

47

2

100-200%

35

65

*

200%+

17

82

*

Getting divorced or separated, in part because of financial problems.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

13

85

2

<100%

18

81

1

100-200%

14

84

3

200%+

13

85

2

Being a victim of a crime.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

17

83

1

<100%

22

76

2

100-200%

16

84

1

200%+

16

84

*

Having a problem with alcohol or drug abuse.


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

20

79

1

<100%

22

78

*

100-200%

17

82

*

200%+

21

79

1

48. Have you or has anyone in your immediate family ever received welfare or public assistance benefits?
(Results for total respondents)

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

38

61

1

<100%

64

35

1

100-200%

47

51

2

200%+

33

66

1

49. Are you or is anyone in your immediate family receiving such benefits now?
(Results for respondents who say they have, or someone in their immediate family has, received welfare or public assistance benefits)
[Total = 864, <100% = 200, 100-200% = 310, 200%+ = 354]

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

33

65

2

<100%

59

40

1

100-200%

35

60

5

200%+

26

72

2

50. Some people tell us that they worry about becoming poor. What do you think? Does the possibility of becoming poor worry you a great deal, worry you a little, or doesn't it worry you at all?
(Results for total respondents)

 

Worries you a great deal

Worries you a little

Doesnít worry you at all

Donít know

Total

18

35

46

1

<100%

35

33

31

1

100-200%

27

34

37

2

200%+

15

35

50

*

51. How would you rate...?
(Results for total respondents)


The housing you currently live in


 

EXCELLENT/GOOD

ONLY FAIR/POOR

 
 

NET

Excellent

Good

NET

Only fair

Poor

Donít know

Total

82

33

49

18

15

3

*

<100%

63

18

45

37

29

8

*

100-200%

72

21

51

28

25

3

*

200%+

87

38

49

13

11

2

*

Your health-care coverage

 

EXCELLENT/GOOD

ONLY FAIR/POOR

 
 

NET

Excellent

Good

NET

Only fair

Poor

Donít know

Total

69

28

41

28

19

9

2

<100%

52

12

41

45

24

21

3

100-200%

53

17

36

44

30

14

3

200%+

75

32

43

23

16

7

2

The safety of your neighborhood

 

EXCELLENT/GOOD

ONLY FAIR/POOR

 
 

NET

Excellent

Good

NET

Only fair

Poor

Donít know

Total

82

39

43

18

14

4

*

<100%

55

16

39

44

33

11

1

100-200%

75

27

48

25

20

5

*

200%+

87

44

43

13

11

2

*

52. I'd like to ask you some questions about where you live. Is there a bank convenient for you? How about a supermarket?
(Results for total respondents)


Bank


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

93

7

*

<100%

89

11

--

100-200%

91

9

--

200%+

93

6

*

Supermarket


 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

92

8

*

<100%

86

13

*

100-200%

90

10

--

200%+

93

7

*

53. What is your employment status? Are you...?
(Results for total respondents)

 

Total

<100%

100-200%

200%+

Employed (NET)

64

37

49

70

    Employed full time

55

22

39

62

    Employed part time

9

15

10

8

Retired

20

25

27

17

Homemaker

6

13

8

5

Student

4

6

5

4

Unemployed and looking for work

3

6

5

2

Unemployed and not looking for work

2

11

4

1

Donít know

1

2

3

1

54. What was your employment status five years ago? Were you...?
(Results for total respondents)

 

Total

<100%

100-200%

200%+

Employed (NET)

66

52

57

70

    Employed full time

56

39

46

61

    Employed part time

10

13

12

9

Retired

13

15

18

12

Homemaker

5

8

9

4

Student

11

9

9

11

Unemployed and looking for work

2

5

3

1

Unemployed and not looking for work

2

9

3

1

Donít know

1

2

1

1

55. If you are employed, on the whole, how satisfied are you with the work you do? Would you say you are very satisfied, moderately satisfied, a little dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
(Results for total who are employed full or part time)
[Total =1213, <100% =123, 100-200%=336, 200%+ =754]

 

Total

<100%

100-200%

200%+

Satisfied (NET)

90

74

85

92

    Very satisfied

51

29

36

55

    Moderately satisfied

39

45

49

37

Dissatisfied (NET)

10

26

14

8

    A little dissatisfied

7

14

12

6

    Very dissatisfied

3

11

3

2

Donít know

*

--

*

--

54/55 Summary

 

Total

<100%

100-200%

200%+

Employed (NET)

64

37

49

70

Satisfied (NET)

57

27

41

64

    Very satisfied

32

11

18

38

    Moderately satisfied

25

17

24

26

Dissatisfied (NET)

6

9

7

6

    A little dissatisfied

5

5

6

4

    Very dissatisfied

2

4

1

1

Not employed

35

61

49

29

Donít know

1

2

3

1

56. How long is your commute to work or school? A half hour or less, a half hour to an hour, one to two hours, or more than two hours?

 

EMPLOYED/STUDENT

   
 

 

NET

A half hour or less

A half hour to an hour

One to two hours

More than two hours

Not employed/student

Donít know

Total

68

50

12

3

1

31

1

<100%

43

29

10

2

1

55

2

100-200%

54

40

10

1

1

44

3

200%+

74

55

13

3

1

25

1

57. I am going to read you a list of things that some people do and others don't. In the past twelve months have you...?
(Results for total respondents)

Donated money to an organization that helps the poor

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

68

32

1

<100%

43

57

-

100-200%

56

44

*

200%+

74

26

1

Contributed your time to an organization that helps the poor

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

42

58

1

<100%

39

60

1

100-200%

32

68

*

200%+

44

55

1

Directly tried to help a poor individual or family

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

67

32

*

<100%

66

33

*

100-200%

69

30

*

200%+

67

33

*

Contacted a public official about problems faced by poor people

 

Yes

No

Donít know

Total

10

89

*

<100%

13

87

*

100-200%

9

91

*

200%+

11

89

*



View Previous Page View Next Page


 
Methodology

The results of this project are based on a nationwide telephone survey conducted in English and Spanish between January 4 and February 27, 2001, among a random representative sample of 1,952 respondents 18 years of age and older. There was an oversample of 546 respondents who were identified as having an income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Overall the sample included 294 respondents having an income of less than 100% of the federal poverty level, 613 having an income of between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level, and 1,045 with an income above 200% of the federal poverty level. The results for all groups are weighted to reflect the actual distribution in the nation. The field work was conducted by ICR/International Communications Research. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points for total respondents, plus or minus 7.5 percentage points for those with an income of less than 100% of the federal poverty level, plus or minus 5.4 percentage points for those with an income of between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level, and plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for those with an income above 200% of the federal poverty level. For results based on subsets of respondents the margin of error is higher.

When interpreting the data, keep in mind that because this was a telephone survey, it under-represents groups less likely to have telephones, such as people with very low incomes.

 





This page and all contents are Copyright © 2001 by National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.