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Poll Preview: That Sinking Feeling on the Economy

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the nation's economic situation has led to widespread stress and heightened worry about being able to afford housing.

Nearly six in 10 in the new poll said the current economic situation is a cause of stress in their lives, including more than a quarter who label that anxiety "serious."

Turning to specific financial worries, nearly half are concerned about not having enough money to pay their rent or mortgage, with worry among homeowners up significantly from December. (Most renters, who tend to have lower incomes, were already worried.)

Worries about housing costs had been concentrated in rural and urban areas, but in the new poll, deep worries among suburbanites have nearly doubled. One-quarter of suburbanites (25 percent) said they are very worried about being able to afford housing, more on par with levels in rural (21 percent) and urban (27 percent) areas.

The ability to afford housing is deeply related to overall stress levels. Among those not too worried about their ability to afford housing, a majority said the economic situation has not caused them any stress. But nearly six in 10 of those "very concerned" about their ability to make housing payments attribute serious levels of stress to the economic situation.

Check back to washingtonpost.com at 5 p.m. for more from the poll.

Q. Is the current economic situation a cause of stress in your life, or not?

[Chart]

Q. How concerned are you, if at all, about not having enough money to pay your rent or mortgage - very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned or not at all concerned about this? (Percent concerned)

[Chart]

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  February 25, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
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