WSJ/NORC Poll: 65% Say Inflation 'Major Concern,' 43% Say 'Housing'

( — A new survey by the Wall Street Journal and NORC (at the University of Chicago) reveals that strong majorities of U.S. adults view inflation as a “major concern” (65%), think the economy is “poor/not so good” (80%), and “do not feel confident” (78%) that our children’s generation will be better off than we are. 

However, there were some positive findings in the survey. For instance, 50% of U.S. adults say America is “one of the greatest countries in the world, along with some others” and another 21% say the U.S. “stands above all countries in the world.” 

In addition, 49% agreed with the phrase, “I know God exists and I have no doubts about  it.”

The survey was conducted March 1-13, 2023, and 1,019 randomly selected U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, participated (by internet and by telephone). The margin of error was +/- 4.1 percentage points.

In addition to the findings mentioned, WSJ/NORC asked, “Would you describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as…?”


In response, 80% said “poor/not so good,” and 20% said “excellent/good.” 

Also, when asked, “Over the course of the next year, do you think the state of the economy will get better, stay about the same, or get worse?” 47% said it “will get worse.”

Only 15% said the economy “will get better.”

When asked, “Which of the following best describes your financial situation?” 44% said, “My finances are in worse condition than I expected for this stage in my life.”  Only 17% said their finances are in “better condition” than they expected.

On another question, 56% of U.S. adults said earning a four-year college degree is “not worth the cost because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt to pay off.” 

Only 42% said getting a college degree was worth the cost “because people have a better chance to get a good job and earn more income over their lifetime.”

The WSJ/NORC also asked, “To what extent do you consider yourself a religious person? Are you…”  In response, 52% said “not religious at all/slightly religious.” However, 47% said they were “very/moderately religious.”

On a related question, only 9% of adults said, “I don’t believe in God,” while 49% said, “I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it.”

However, 32% said they “never” attend religious services and 19% said they attend “less than once a year.”  Only 13% of Americans said they go to church “every week.”  Another 6% said “several times a week.”

Among the respondents, 23% said they were “liberal,” 28% said “conservative,” and 47% said “moderate.”

The pollsters aslo asked, “Do you think companies should take public stands on social and political issues, or not?”

A strong 63% said no; 36% said yes.

As for using race or ethnicity as a factor in college admissions, 56% said they “strongly/somewhat oppose” the idea. Only 15% said they “strongly/somewhat favor” the practice. 

On another topic, 56% of American adults said transgender persons should “only play on [sports] teams that match the sex assigned at their birth.” 

To read the survey, click here.


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