About six-in-ten U.S. adults (62%) say they favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 40% who strongly back the idea. About four-in-ten (38%) say they oppose the proposal, according to a Pew Research Center
The Biden administration and many congressional Democrats favor increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from the current rate of $7.25 an hour, but the proposal’s fate in the Senate is uncertain. Some senators, including several Democrats, support a more modest increase in the wage.
mong the public, those who back a $15 minimum wage are fairly divided over how to approach the issue if there is insufficient support in Congress for an increase to that amount this year. A narrow majority of these Americans (54%) say leaders should focus on passing an increase to the wage “even if it may be significantly less than $15 an hour,” while 43% say the priority should be to work to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 “even if no increase makes it into law this year.”
Among those who oppose raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a substantial majority (71%) say the federal minimum wage should be increased, but that the standard should be less than $15 an hour; those who hold this view account for 27% of the overall public. Only one-in-ten Americans in all say that federal minimum wage should remain at the current level of $7.25 an hour.
Black adults in particular stand out for their support: 89% favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 73% who support the idea strongly.
About three-quarters of Hispanic (76%) and Asian Americans (73%) also favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with 52% of Hispanics and 43% of Asians saying they strongly support the idea.
White adults, by contrast, are divided: 51% favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour – including just 30% who strongly favor it – while 48% oppose it.
About seven-in-ten adults who live in lower-income households (72%) say they favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, including about half (52%) who strongly favor such an increase. Smaller majorities of those in middle- (58%) and upper-income households (55%) say they favor a $15 minimum wage.
There are sharp partisan differences in opinions. While 87% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they favor increasing the wage to $15 an hour (including 61% who strongly favor it), 72% of Republicans and GOP leaners oppose the idea (including 45% who strongly oppose it).
People living in areas where the state-level minimum wage is currently $12 or higher are more likely than others to say they favor a federal increase to $15 an hour. About seven-in-ten adults in these places (69%) favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, compared with 59% of those living in places with a minimum wage of less than $12 an hour.
While Democrats are largely united in their support for increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Republicans’ views differ by household income.
Lower-income Republicans (46%) are much more likely than middle- (23%) and upper-income Republicans (18%) to say they favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Still, a majority of lower-income Republicans (54%) say they oppose such an increase.
Similarly, Republicans who live in areas where the state minimum wage is $12 or higher are slightly more likely than those living in places where the $7.25 federal minimum wage applies to say they favor raising the federal minimum to $15 an hour (32% vs. 25%).
Among higher-income adults who support a $15 minimum wage, majorities say the priority for Congress should be to work to increase the minimum wage, even if the new wage is significantly less than $15 an hour.