Inflation seen as the biggest problem facing the US - Pew poll

The challenge with the next highest amount of concern was health care affordability, which 55% of Americans viewed was a very big problem.

 Inflation (Illustrative). (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Inflation (Illustrative).
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

Among the many challenges facing the United States, the number one concern of the American public is inflation, and nothing else even comes close, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Overall, 70% of Americans view inflation as a very big problem, eclipsing all other issues. 

The challenge with the next highest amount of concern was health care affordability, which 55% of Americans viewed was a very big problem. This was followed by violent crime (54%), gun violence (51%), the federal budget deficit (51%), climate change (42%), public school quality (39%), illegal immigration (38%), racism (35%), the condition of infrastructure like roads and bridges (30%), unemployment (23%) and COVID-19 (19%).

The relatively low amount of Americans who view the novel coronavirus as a very big problem stands out following two years of the pandemic that has killed millions and infected millions more across the world. 

Back in June 2020, the pandemic was viewed by 58% of Americans as a very big problem, one of the top concerns of the time.

American Flag (credit: REUTERS)American Flag (credit: REUTERS)
Party lines: Who cares about what?

While the vast majority of Americans view inflation as the biggest problem facing the US, it is primarily more of a concern among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 84% of whom said it was a very big problem, according to Pew.

Among Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents, however, this is not the case.

While a small majority (57%) of them do recognize inflation as a very big problem, far more prominent concerns among this demographic are issues like gun violence (70%), healthcare affordability (65%) and climate change (63%).

The latter topic in particular highlights the big divide between Republicans and Democrats, with just 16% of Republicans viewing climate change as a very big problem.

The opposite is also true in respect to illegal immigration, with 65% of Republicans viewing it as a very big problem compared to just 19% of Democrats.

Though less pronounced, a divide is also present regarding COVID-19, with 28% of Democrats viewing it as a very big problem compared to just 7% of Republicans - as well as racism, with 49% of Democrats considering it a very big problem compared to 14% of Republicans.

The divide was least pronounced in regards to unemployment, with 21% of Republicans and 22% of Democrats viewing it as a very big problem.