WASHINGTON – A plurality of Americans say the nation is currently mired in a depression, and a majority believe it's at best a recession, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

Respondents were asked whether the economy is "growing," "slowing down," "in a recession," or "in a depression." Remarkably, the final category won with 29 percent of the vote.

Twenty-six percent picked recession, 16 percent said slowing down, and 27 percent said the economy was growing.

Officially, the United States isn't even in a recession, defined as three consecutive quarters of declining real output, let alone a depression. The recession that began in December 2007, though the longest since the Great Depression, ended in June 2009. But the survey results reflect the reality that persistently high unemployment continues to strain and middle and working class families.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,013 adults across the nation between April 20-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.