Global: 24% say they’re financially comfortable, while 30% struggling to afford essential costs
March 10th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Global: 24% say they’re financially comfortable, while 30% struggling to afford essential costs

With inflation jumping significantly over the past year, the cost-of-living crisis has taken a chunk out of many consumers’ bank accounts. But how much wiggle room do they have in the event that their expenses continue to rise?

Ask people across 18 global markets to describe their financial position in March 2023, and three in ten say they’re struggling to afford essential costs (30%), while a quarter (24%) describe themselves as financially comfortable. This varies heavily from country to country.

If we look at the Nordics, for example, half of consumers (50%) describe themselves as financially comfortable, with less than one in six 14% saying they’re struggling to afford the basics. It’s a similar situation in Sweden (44% vs. 21%).

In France, it’s the opposite story. Two in five (42%) say they’re struggling to afford what they need, with just a fifth (17%) saying they’re financially comfortable. India (37% vs. 22%) and the UAE (37% vs. 19%) have similar gaps between the “haves” and “have-nots”. In Hong Kong, there’s a particularly stark difference: with 36% describing themselves as financially straitened and 9% as financially comfortable, there’s a 27-point chasm between the two groups.

Other markets such as the UK (24% struggling; 33% comfortable), the US (28% struggling; 26% comfortable), and China (21% struggling, 20% comfortable) have similar proportions of people who are well off compared to people who are barely getting by – or not getting by at all.

It’s worth noting that there may be a psychological element to this, at least among the more well-heeled respondents: our studies from the past have shown that Americans think you need to earn $90-$100,000 dollars a year to be considered “rich”, while in Britain the figure is £60,500. The median average salary in the UK last year was £33,000, while in the states the figure is $54,132. Wealth may well be in the eye of the beholder.

To find out more, including data on consumers in between these two groups, get in touch at the link below.

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 500 and 2,000 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in 2022-2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.