A news release from thePew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project said three-quarters of respondents confessed they were not saving enough – an admission the survey found across the demographic spectrum.Nearly seven-in-ten adults who identify themselves as upper or upper-middle class say they aren’t saving enough, a belief shared by slightly larger proportions of middle class (75%) and lower class Americans (82%).
However, the Pew researchers said the confessions were notenough to motivate action: Americans now save less than 1% of their incomes on average and the savings rate has been in almost continuous decline for more than two decades.
Six-in-ten adults (61%) with family incomes of $150,000 or more say they aren’t saving enough. Among those earning between $100,000 and $150,000 a year, the proportion soars to 79%.
Minorities are somewhat more likely than whites to say they aren’t saving enough, according to Pew.
African Americans in particular say they should be saving more (84%), compared with whites (74%) or Hispanics (78%) – a relationship that persists even after differences in income are taken into account. For example, 84% of African Americans with family incomes of less than $50,000 say they don’t save enough, compared with 77% of whites and 80% of Hispanics in the same income range.
Senior citizens appear to be doing the best of anyone at saving. Only a narrow majority (54%) of those ages 65 and older say they aren't saving enough, while more than a third (36%) of seniors says they are saving enough. It may be because seniors generally have lower living expenses than do younger adults, Pew contended.
One other demographic group that does relatively well on saving is college graduates. Three-in-ten (31%) say they save enough, compared with 19% of those with just a high school degree.
The telephone survey covered 2,413 adults and was conducted from January 24 through February 19, 2008.
More information is available at http://pewresearch.org/pubs/837/americans-not-saving-enough .
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center