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A nation divided: Pew reports more than half of Americans inflicted by recession

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In its report titled "One Recession, Two Americas," the Pew Research Center reports that 55% of Americans lost ground during the recent recession while 45% said they "held their own." Although the recession began in December 2007 and purportedly ended in June 2009, the report collects its data from 2,967 participants who were interviewed in May of 2010. Information gathered from the two groups, referred to as either the "Held their Own" or the "Lost Ground" group, reported drastically different results in most areas. While 35% of the Lost Ground group reported that they struggled to pay their rent or to pay the mortgage, the other group did not report any trouble in doing so. More than half (53%) of the Lost Ground group are homeowners and 42% of those homeowners said they have not paid half of what they owe on their home. 30% the of Held their Own homeowners (75%) agree. Overall, 13% of homeowners said they experienced an increase in home value, while more than half of each group reported a decrease (see chart): Some homeowners believe they owe more for their house than it is actually worth. 29% of those who Lost Ground say they're underwater on the mortgage, while only 14% of the Held their Own feel this way. Despite the previous statistics, 77% of those who Lost Ground and 83% of those who Held their Own still consider homeownership “the best investment that an average person can make,” according to the Pew Research Center. Ariana Garza is an editorial assistant at HousingWire.

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