Mar 10, 2022 - Health

Survey: Inflation, Ukraine drive "alarming" spike in U.S. stress

A gas sign showing rising prices

A sign shows gas prices outside a gas station in Washington DC. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

More than 80% of people in the U.S. say inflation, global uncertainty and the war in Ukraine are significant sources of stress, a survey by the American Psychological Association out Thursday finds.

Why it matters: More people rated inflation and the war as stressors than any other issue asked about since the poll was first conducted in 2007, per the APA, which described the findings as "alarming."

  • "Typically, our highest levels of stress have been in the mid 60s, so hitting, for example, 87[%] for inflation as a source of stress is truly astounding," psychologist Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association, told NPR.

Background: The survey, which was fielded by Harris Poll in early March, was an addendum to the APA's regular Stress in America survey conducted in February.

By the numbers:

  • 87% of Americans said they were stressed by inflation.
  • 81% said supply chain issues stressed them.
  • 81% said Global uncertainty.
  • 80% were stressed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • 80% were worried by potential retaliation from Russia.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said the pandemic has forever changed their life.

  • That number was significantly higher among Asian (69%) and Latino (67%) adults than among whites (51%).

Methodology: The portion of the poll was conducted on March 1-3, 2022, among 2,051 adults (age 18 and over) by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association. The sample data is accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points.

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