According to a Zogby poll, one-third of U.S. adults describe being seriously impacted by the current recession, including 14 percent who say their households have been “devastated” by it. Adults in  low-income households (annual income  below $25,000) reported higher impacts  and less optimism about recovery. 

The survey involved 41,175 adults  and took place in July. It asked “how big  an impact have the recent changes in  the U.S. economy had on your household,”  and gave a 5-point scale, with 5 being “devastating” and 1 being “no  impact.” Here are the results: 

Specific to low-income households, 50 percent scored the impact as 4 or 5.  As income levels rose, the recession’s  impact declined. However, 21 percent  of adults with family incomes above $250,000 scored the impact a 4 or 5. 

The survey also asked if  respondents believed their  household fi nancial circumstances “will ever go back  to where they were before the recent  changes in the U.S. economy.”  Here are the results: 

The percentages of those answering yes increases with household income. Age is also a significant variable, as optimism declines steadily from the  youngest to oldest age groups. For example,  55 percent of respondents ages 18 to 29 believe they will fully recover, compared to just 27 percent of those  age 65 and older. 

The survey illustrates the potential  short- and long-term purchasing impact that will result from this economic downturn.