Bankrate's survey of six questions is designed to gauge how secure Americans feel about their personal finances. On March 1-4, 2012, telephone interviews with 1,009 adults living in the continental U.S. were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index, below, have a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.
- About 65% of Republicans say they aren't confident the economic recovery will last through 2012.
- 74% of Democrats and 46% of independents say they are confident of a lasting recovery.
- 64% of those making $75,000-plus a year are confident about the economy, compared to 45% of those earning less.
- 27% of respondents 50 and older feel less secure about their jobs than a year ago, versus 17% of those younger than 50.
- Almost a third (32%) of Republican-leaning independents feel less job security, versus just 13% of those leaning Democrat.
- More men than women feel more job security compared to a year ago, at 24% versus 16%.
- 22% of Democrats are more comfortable with their savings versus a year ago, compared to 12% of Republicans and 14% of independents.
- Half of respondents 50 and older say they're less comfortable with savings, versus about 30% of younger respondents.
- 25% of fathers with kids younger than 18 are less comfortable with their savings this year, versus 41% of all other men.
- 34% earning less than $30,000 are less comfortable with debt than a year ago, versus about 22% of those making more.
- 29% of those in the West are less comfortable with debt versus 22% of the rest of the nation.
- 28% of those with a high school education at most are less comfortable with debt than a year ago, versus 19% of college grads.
- 28% of both Republicans and independents report lower net worth than a year ago. The same is true for 18% of Democrats.
- 34% of those between ages 30 and 39 report increased net worth, versus an average of 22% of all other age groups.
- 40% of those earning at least $75,000 have a higher net worth, compared to 18% of those earning less.
- 9% of those age 65 and older say they are better off now than a year ago, compared to 29% of younger adults.
- 30% of female college grads say they are better off now, versus 15% of their cohorts who never attended college.
- 35% of Democrats say they feel better off today, compared to 22% of Republicans and 22% 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.