40 percent of US adults face economic hardships: report

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – Nearly 40 percent of adults in the U.S. are struggling to meet basic needs, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

The study looked into seven metrics outlining hardships which fit into categories of housing, food security, utilities and health care.

The Urban Institute's findings showed not only did almost 40 percent of adults face at least one economic hardship, but more than 23 percent faced multiple hardships.

According to the survey, 10 percent of individuals missed a rent or mortgage payment, 13 percent missed a utility payment and 23 percent said they faced food insecurity in 2017.

The research also showed many faced problems with health care, with 18 percent had problems paying health care and the same percentage had unmet health care needs because of the high cost of treatment.

The study shows many families struggling under current economic conditions, but U.S. President Donald Trump has constantly argued the economy has been better than it has ever been.

"The Economy is stronger and better than ever before. Importantly, there remains tremendous potential – it will only get better with time!" Trump said in a tweet earlier this month.

The study urged policy makers to rethink their considerations to change the access to safety net programs, saying it would hinder the ability of individuals to meet their basic needs.

"As policymakers consider changes in access to safety net programs, they run the risk of increasing rates of material hardship, which could have detrimental short- and long-term impacts on children and adults," the Urban Institute report noted.

A total of 7,588 adults aged 18 – 64 were surveyed for December 2017 to January 2018, and the study covered 97 percent of U.S. homes.