Consumer Surveys · January 10, 2019

Women and Economic Anxiety

By Edison Research

Click here to download the Women and Economic Anxiety study from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

Women in the U.S. are losing sleep over their financial situations, feel more anxious than men about their personal financial circumstances, and are less likely than men to say the economy is strong. For women of color in the U.S., the differences are even more pronounced. The latest data from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll shows major disparities in how women and men perceive the U.S. economy as well as their personal economies, and for nearly all women it is a stressful story.

According to our national exit poll data from the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, women leaned vastly more to voting for Democrats, and data from The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll allows us some insight into the economic views of American women that may have motivated these choices.

The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is a regular series of surveys examining how the U.S. population feels about their personal economy and financial situation in the landscape of the broader U.S. economy. It paints a compelling story about women and their current relationship with finances and the economy.

The Economic Anxiety Index is a tool designed by Edison Research and Marketplace to measure the amount of stress a person feels about their individual financial situation through a series of twelve questions regarding job security, saving and expenses, and general financial anxiety.

Principal Findings:

  • Women have a higher median Economic Anxiety Index score than men (26 v. 22).
  • Non-white women have a higher median Economic Anxiety Index score than women in general (30 v. 26).
  • Women are less likely than men to say the U.S. economy is strong (50% v. 70%), and only 37% of non-white women say the U.S. economy is strong.
  • Healthcare is by far the top national economic issue of concern for women with 35% of women citing it as their number one concern among a list of seven items, including taxes, immigration, and rising prices.
  • Women are less likely than men to say they are financially secure (31% v. 42%).
  • Women are more likely than men to lose sleep over their personal financial situation (35% v. 26%). Non-white women (38%) are slightly more likely than all women to lose sleep over finances.
  • The majority of women feel that Washington has forgotten them. Seventy-four percent of non-white women and 69% of all women say that the government in Washington has forgotten about people like them.

How the study was conducted:
Edison Research conducted a national survey of the United States population aged 18 and older. There were 1,058 interviews conducted via landline phone, cell phone, and online. Interviews specific to the topic of the economy were conducted from September 25, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

About Edison Research:
Edison Research ( conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space.  Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.


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