Worry over hunger, homelessness on sharp rise among low-income Americans: Gallup
WASHINGTON, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Over the past two years, concern about hunger and homelessness has been rising among Americans, especially among the lower-income group, found a new Gallup poll.
An average of 67 percent of the lower-income Americans have worried "a great deal" about the problem of hunger and homelessness, which is a significant rise from 51 percent during 2010-2011, according to the March 1-5 poll.
Overall, 47 percent of Americans now worry about hunger and homelessness "a great deal," tied with 2016 as the high in the trend. Previously, concern had been as low as 35 percent in 2004 and as high as 45 percent in 2001, the first year Gallup asked the question.
The only issue with a significantly higher "worried a great deal" percentage in this year's poll is the availability and affordability of healthcare, at 57 percent, Gallup said.
But among lower-income Americans, hunger and homelessness eclipses healthcare, making it the top-ranking issue. Among middle- and upper-income Americans, the availability and affordability of healthcare generates the greatest worry, with hunger and homelessness further down the list, Gallup said.
Crime and violence, as well as healthcare, also are prominent concerns for lower-income Americans. Crime is a prominent concern for middle-income Americans as well, but much less so for upper-income Americans, Gallup found.
Indeed, Americans at all income levels are expressing greater concern about hunger and homelessness.
It is unclear why Americans are worrying more about hunger and homelessness now. But at times the issue may fade from public consciousness when other matters dominate the national agenda, Gallup found.
Rising concern about hunger and homelessness among all income groups could be a result of the political and media attention devoted to U.S. income inequality in recent years, according to Gallup.
Americans may also worry more about hunger and homelessness when other issues are not dominating the national consciousness, such as the economy and budget deficit were in 2010-2011 and terrorism was in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
It is possible that greater concern will lead to greater public pressure for action on the issue. However, President Donald Trump's first federal budget has been criticized for deep cuts to federal anti-poverty programs, Gallup said.
Source: Xinhua | 2017-04-03 00:12:07 | Editor: Mengjie