Mentions of economy as top U.S. problem lowest since 2007
The percentage of Americans naming the economy as the nation's top problem has gradually declined since 2009, and more recently has dropped slightly each month since October 2016.
The drop in the percentage mentioning the economy comes at a time when Americans' confidence in the economy and their perceptions of hiring activity are at nine-year highs. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average has remained above its new milestone of 20,000 for over a month.
These data, collected in a March 1-5 Gallup poll, are part of a longer trend of Americans expressing less concern for economic issues at large - including the economy in general, unemployment and federal debt - and greater concern for noneconomic issues such as immigration, healthcare and racism.
In the latest poll, about one in four Americans (26%) name an economic issue as being the most important problem facing the U.S., while three times as many (75%) list a noneconomic issue.
From 2008 to 2012, economic concerns mostly exceeded noneconomic ones. ■