Special Report

States Where Inflation Is Causing the Most Stress

Inflation has been surging to multi-decade highs in the U,S. According to the congressional Joint Economic Committee, prices climbed by 13.3% between January 2021 and July 2022, resulting in a $717 increase in monthly expenses for the average American household. Driven by a number of factors – including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supply chain constraints tied to the COVID-19 pandemic – the inflation crisis is weighing heavy on American consumers. 

A recent survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau found that 46.9% of American adults have found inflation to be “very stressful” in the last two months, and another 27.5% have found it to be “moderately stressful.” Meanwhile, only 5.2% of adults say inflation is “not at all stressful.” (Here is a look at what is getting more expensive at stores in America.) 

Of course, inflation rates and other economic conditions vary across the country, and in some states, Americans are far more likely to be feeling the pinch. 

Using survey data collected between Oct. 5 and Oct.17, 2022 by the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where inflation is causing the most stress. States are ranked by the share of adults who have found inflation to be very stressful. Among the 50 states, the share of the 18 and older people who are very stressed by inflation ranges from 34% to about 58%. 

In 11 states, over half of all adults find inflation to be very stressful, and in each of them, the inflation rate between January 2021 and July 2022 exceeds the 13.3% national average. Residents of these states are also less likely to be equipped to absorb rising costs, as in each one, the median household income is below the $69,717 national median, while the poverty rate exceeds the 12.8% national rate. (Here is a look at the states where Americans make the least money.)

It is important to note that in some parts of the country where inflation is less of a concern based on the survey, inflation rates also exceed the national average. Still, in each of the eight states where fewer than 40% of adults report high levels of stress regarding inflation, the poverty rate is below the national rate. And in all but one, the September unemployment rate was below the 3.5% national jobless rate.

Click here to see states where inflation is causing the most stress.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

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