Financial security in the U.S. is a cause for concern, as a Bankrate survey reveals that less than a third of adults in the U.S. feel completely financially secure. To attain a sense of financial comfort, the average salary for financial security that the average American believes they would need is around $233,000, which is over three times the median U.S. household income of $71,000 per year.

High inflation, economic environment, and low savings contribute to insecurity. Higher earners feel more secure but also demand higher incomes. Factors like having children, historical inequalities, and the gender pay gap influence perceived financial needs.

As a result, Real Research, an online survey app, launched a survey to assess public sentiment on the matter.


  • 36.58% of respondents felt financially safe with an annual income of $263,300.
  • 50.55% of the respondents come from developed nations.
  • 53.91% agree with Americans’ view of required annual income for financial stability.

The perception of financial security in the U.S. varies widely across the globe, shedding light on the complex interplay between income, society’s context, and personal aspirations. While Americans set a benchmark of $233,000 for financial stability, it’s important to recognize that this figure holds distinct meanings in different parts of the world.

According to our survey “Do you need $233,000 to be financially secure in the U.S.?” when asked about the justification of the global pay gap, 58.8% of respondents agreed, while 41.2% disagreed, revealing a divided stance.

Figure 1: Is the global pay gap justified?

Perspectives on America’s Divide and Income Thresholds for Security

The wealth gap narrative extends beyond income disparities alone. In America, factors like gender pay gaps and racial wealth inequalities contribute to the financial divide. Conversely, in countries like Bangladesh or Pakistan, challenges stem from limited opportunities, inadequate healthcare, and subpar living conditions.

Strikingly, 66.66% perceive America’s portrayal of its wealth gap as accurate, while 33.34% hold a contrary opinion.

Americans’ belief that a salary exceeding $233,000 would ensure financial security in the U.S. and even a sense of affluence is a compelling insight. A significant 53.91% agreed that such an income threshold is necessary for financial stability, with 30.23% strongly agreeing. Nonetheless, 16.86% disagreed to varying extents, challenging the notion that higher earnings guarantee complete financial peace.

Figure 2: Respondents’ agreement on Americans’ financial stability claims.

Interestingly, when considering the global economic landscape, respondents were almost evenly split between identifying with developed nations (50.55%) and developing nations (49.45%). This reflects the diversity of backgrounds and experiences influencing opinions on financial security in the U.S. and economic progress.

A Spectrum of Income Brackets for Perceived Security

Lastly, individuals’ perceptions of their own income brackets for financial security reveal nuanced inclinations. When we asked, “how much do you need to be financially secure?” 35.98% see $233,000 annually as the necessary amount, 36.58% opt for a higher threshold of $263,000. Notably, 14.71% are inclined towards even greater earnings ($339,999), and 12.73% inclined more than the previous figure, showcasing the spectrum of financial security in the U.S.

Figure 3: Income per annum, according to respondents.

In essence, these insights underscore the intricate interplay of income, context, and personal beliefs, highlighting that financial security is a multidimensional concept with global perspectives.


Survey TitleDo You Need $233,000 To Be Financially Secure in the U.S.
DurationAugust 2, 2023 – August 9, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.