Bankrate's survey of five questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. On Sept. 7-9, 2012, telephone interviews with 1,012 adults living in the continental U.S. were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
- 29% of black respondents feel more job security today than 12 months ago, compared to 14% of non-Hispanic white respondents.
- 33% of Republicans feel less job security than a year ago, up from 25% just last month.
- That compares to 10% of Democrats and 17% of Independents who feel less job security than a year ago.
- 44% of parents with kids younger than 18 are less comfortable with their savings than a year ago, compared to 35% of people with no minors.
- Only 6% of Republicans are more comfortable with their savings this year; 51% are less comfortable.
- Among Democrats, 24% are more comfortable with savings, and 23% are less so versus a year ago.
- 31% of people younger than 30 are less comfortable with their debt this year, compared to 21% of those 65-plus.
- 33% of people earning less than $50,000 a year are less comfortable with debt, compared to 17% earning $50,000 or more.
- 32% of Republicans and 27% of Independents are less comfortable with debt; just 18% of Democrats agree.
- 29% of men report higher net worth than last year, compared to 21% of women.
- 8% of black respondents say their net worth decreased, while the same was true for 24% of white respondents and 27% of Hispanic respondents.
- Net worth grew since last year for 13% of Republicans, 31% of Democrats and 27% of Independents.
- 32% of people younger than 30 report overall finances are better this year, versus 19% of those 30 or older.
- 22% of urbanites and 27% of suburbanites say they're better off, compared with 13% of rural folks.
- 47% of Republicans say they're worse off than last year, compared to 15% of Democrats and 31% of Independents.
Bankrate's Financial Security Index gauges how Americans feel today versus a year ago on vital financial matters. An index value of less than 100 indicates declining levels of financial security; a value greater than 100 reveals higher levels of security compared to 12 months ago.
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