How Latinos feel about their economic situation
Representational image Reuters

A higher than average proportion of U.S. Latinos say they're getting ahead financially, according to a new survey by Axios and The Harris Poll. The study, called "Vibes Survey," seeks to illustrate how the population feels about a range of issues, rather than showing the hard stats.

"Our Vibes surveys, conducted throughout the 2024 campaign, will tap into personal experiences and psychological responses to capture the nation's feelings through a "Vibe Check," which may differ from the metrics on which many economic experts or political leaders are focused," Axios explained.

In this case, 42% of Latinos gave the mentioned answer, compared to 35% overall. The figure was higher than the one given by most other groups asked the same question. Just 28% of singles and 27% of women say they feel they're getting ahead financially, compared with 39% of couples and 44% of men, the poll showed.

However, the picture wasn't completely rosy: two thirds of Latino respondents said the American dream doesn't matter for them anymore, compared to 54% overall.

Moreover, 82% agreed with the following statement: "Economists may say things are getting better, but we're not feeling it where I live." And 88% of respondents agreed with a statement saying that "gas groceries and housing costs — not stocks — are the real economic indicators I care about."

According to Axios, the contrast between stats showing lower inflation and a stronger economy and the people's perception could be explained by "mistrust of institutions or national leaders."

However, despite this widespread concern, a majority of respondents said they were more optimistic looking at the year ahead, with two thirds saying 2024 will be better than 2023.

The focus on the economy as the main driver of societal interest is repeated in most polls. One from AP-NORC published on Tuesday showed that over 75% of U.S. adults across racial backgrounds listed issues related to the economy when asked about five topics they would want the government to focus on in 2024.

Inflation stood out among economic issues, with 30% of Latinos making a specific reference to price increases. The same proportion of Whites and AAPI adults gave that answer, while two out of every ten Blacks did so.

The poll results coincide with another, larger one focused on the Latino community and released in late November. Conducted by UnidosUS, it found that inflation, the labor market and the economy are currently the biggest concerns for this demographic.

Over half of the respondents stated that elected officials need to address the rising cost of living. They also mentioned being worried about being laid off and about unsafe working conditions.

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