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Poll: Americans struggling more than Chinese to keep families fed

October 14, 2011 | 10:17 am

Nearly 20% of Americans found it difficult to put food on the table over the last year, according to a Gallup poll released this week. In China, however, only 6% of residents are running into the same problem, the study found.

It’s a sharp turnaround from 2008, when 9% of Americans were worried about feeding their families, compared with 16% of Chinese.

But the nominal economic recovery has been difficult in the U.S. with incomes slipping amid high food and gas prices. Meanwhile, the class of uber-wealthy Chinese seems to be growing, even as a huge portion of the country remains poor.

On the housing front, Americans are better equipped to afford a place to live, with 11% of U.S. residents struggling to afford shelter compared with 16% of Chinese.

But that gap may narrow –- the percentage of people grappling with housing prices has shrunk in China since 2008 while growing in the U.S.

The Asian superpower lashed out this month at the U.S. over accusations that its yuan currency is undervalued. Not long after a bill that would impose tariffs on Chinese goods cleared the Senate, China's Foreign Ministry urged the House to reject the legislation.

"This won't solve America's own economic and employment problems," said Ma Zhaoxu, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in a statement.


China's trade surplus shrinks on weakened global demand

Chinese inflation remains high amid signs of economic slowdown

Trade deficit with China cost nearly 2.8 million U.S. jobs since 2001

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: A vendor waits for customers at a Beijing fruit stall. A recent Gallup pound found 20% of Americans struggled with putting food on the table compared with 6% of Chinese residents. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

China's trade surplus shrinks on weakened global deman