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(03/29/11) -

Two Thirds of Americans Negatively Affected by Gas and Food Price Increases

Three-in-ten respondents say they would not stop driving even if gas prices reach $10 a gallon.

Many Americans are concerned about the rising cost of fuel and food, a new Angus Reid / Vision Critical poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,002 American adults, 67 per cent of respondents acknowledge that recent price increases in gasoline have caused financial hardship for themselves and others in their household, and 65 per cent report the same situation over increases in the price of food and groceries.

Respondents were asked how far gas prices would have to rise before they decided to engage in eight different behaviors.

On average, Americans would have to see a price tag of $6.00 per gallon of gas to seriously consider stopping driving completely, or selling their car to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle.

At more than $5.00 a gallon, respondents would consider taking public transit more often than usual, walking to destinations more than usual, carpooling more, and changing their summer vacation plans. However, more than one-in-four respondents say they would never take public transit more than usual (32%), seriously consider stopping driving completely (30%), carpool more (28%), or sell their car to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle (28%)—even if the price of gas climbs to $10 a gallon.

When asked to choose between higher food or gas prices, the majority of Americans (54%) would prefer to see an increase in gas prices. If the price of food increases by at least 10% in the following months, at least three-in-five Americans are ready to clip coupons (75%), change the brands they buy (67%), prepare more meals at home (66%), and buy less of other things to offset the higher cost of food (64%). In addition, 38 per cent of respondents would eat smaller portions.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From March 10 to March 11, 2011, Angus Reid / Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,002 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.