The number of Americans who reported a “very difficult” time paying expenses has increased by 85% since June 2021. According to a recent report, inflation is a big part of the problem.
Across the U.S., an average of 8% of people reported a “very difficult” time paying expenses in June 2021. By May 2022, that number jumped by seven percentage points to 15%, an 85% increase according to the report.
The report by QuoteWizard, a LendingTree company, had people answer whether they had “no difficulty,” “slight to moderate difficulty,” or a “very difficult time” paying.
The report notes that inflation increased 8.5% since last year, with the prices of food and gas being two areas of most concern. Those price increases contributed to the increase in the number of people struggling to pay expenses.
The percentage of people struggling varies by state, as well.
In 20 states, there was a 100% increase in people reporting a “very difficult” time paying expenses. According to the latest census data, Rhode Island saw a 10% decrease in the number of people reporting a “very difficult” time.
“Rising prices have affected each state differently. The number of people who are really struggling is up 100% or more,” in many states, according to Nick VinZant Sr., a research analyst at QuoteWizard.
States with a 100% increase or greater included Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. It also included Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, New Hampshire, Montana, Missouri, Maine, Louisiana, Indiana, Idaho, Florida, and Arkansas.
Arkansas had a 201% increase, the only state to go over 200%. Missouri, Florida, and Arkansas saw the largest percent increases in people having a “very difficult” time since June 2021. Meanwhile, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Mississippi had the recorded the most number of people struggling according to the report.
“We predict that people’s financial situations will continue to drastically change the higher it [inflation] goes,” the report reads.