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Published: Feb 05, 2021 14 min read
Money-Morning Consult Poll Reveals Many (But Hardly All) Americans Feel Surprisingly Good About Their Finances
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How has your life changed since February 2020?

It's no secret that the nation has been financially devastated by the coronavirus pandemic over the past year. But despite the widespread suffering, many Americans feel their finances are in good shape and will get better over the course of this year.

In a new survey from Money and Morning Consult, 63% of people say their current financial situation is the same or better now than it was a year ago. Another 44% say they expect their financial position to improve in 2021.

Conducted between Jan. 26 and Jan. 28, the poll of 2,200 reveals a sharp divide in how the coronavirus crisis has impacted Americans' wallets over the past 12 months. While some held steady or prospered, others floundered financially. And the difference between the haves and the have-nots is going to greatly influence how they begin to recover this year.

Let's break it down.

A year into the pandemic, many people are financially stable

First, we'll focus on the good. For the haves, 2020 not only failed to hurt their finances but sometimes caused them to advance. More than four in 10 Americans say their financial situation is excellent or good now (45%), with another 35% describing it as fair. Just a fifth of respondents say their current financial situation is poor (20%).

Unsurprisingly, people who earn over six figures are the most inclined to say they're doing well now, with 77% reporting a good or excellent financial position. Retirees come next (63%). Baby Boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1964, are the generation most likely to describe their situation as good or excellent (59%); homeowners report the same strong financial standing.

Overall, a quarter of adults say their finances are actually somewhat or much better now than they were a year ago. This includes 37% of respondents with post-graduate degrees and 34% of Gen Zers, or those born between 1997 and 2012.

However, there are significant differences across ethnicities. While some 49% of white respondents say their position is excellent or good, only 36% of Black respondents and 27% of Hispanic respondents say the same.