Maybe call it social insecurity? Just over half of American adults between the ages of 50 and 64 say they worry a “great deal” about the Social Security system, according to recent polling by Gallup.
That’s the most of any age group surveyed, followed by those age 65 and older, 46 percent of whom say they worry a great deal about the program.
The Gallup figures are based on combined data from 2016 through 2018. They show that concern across most age groups has fallen over the last five to ten years. The 51 percent of the pre-retirement population that’s most worried about Social Security is down from a 59 percent average from 2009 to 2011 and 2011 to 2013. And concern among retirement-aged Americans peaked at 56 percent from 2010 to 2012.
Overall, 44 percent of Americans worry a "great deal" about the program, and 28 percent say they worry a "fair amount." About one in five Americans (17 percent) say they worry "only a little" and one in ten say they’re "not at all" concerned.
Gallup notes that the issue Americans are most concerned about remains the availability and affordability of healthcare. Social Security ranked 7th out of 15 issues Gallup presented in telephone surveys it conducted between March 1-8, 2018, with a random sample of 1,041 adults.
Gallup also notes that, while concerns about Social Security have ebbed a bit, the long-term sustainability of the program still faces challenges. The most recent report from the Social Security Trustees projected that the program’s trust fund will be depleted in 2034.
“So, while Americans' concerns may have shifted elsewhere over the years, the question of how to fund the Social Security system and whether to make adjustments to the program will undoubtedly return at some point,” Gallup’s analysis concludes “and Americans' worries about it could return to their post-recession levels.”