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Gallup poll finds record numbers of Americans thriving

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating on many levels, and the upheaval in all of our lives has had an impact. But a new Gallup poll shows the United States in general is recovering from the worst, with more Americans saying they are “thriving” than at any time in the 13 years since Gallup began measuring .

Gallup’s Live Rating Index measures how Americans feel about their lives, asking people to rank their current and future lives on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being the worst life you can imagine for you. – even and 10 the best possible life you could imagine. Those who rank their current life at 7 or higher and their future life at 8 or higher are considered “flourishing”.

The percentage of Americans who “prosper” reached 59.2% in June, eclipsing the previous record of 57.3% set in September 2017, and far exceeding the pandemic minimum of 46.4 in April 2020, which was at tie for lowest measurement during the financial crisis in November 2008.

Interestingly, the percentage of Americans who are rated “unwell” on the scale did not change much during the pandemic. In June, 3.4% of those surveyed fell into the ‘suffering’ category, which is in line with pre-COVID levels.

In addition to a spike in life satisfaction, daily stress and worry levels have also returned to pre-COVID levels. According to Gallup:

“The percentage of people who reported experiencing significant stress and worry ‘much of the day yesterday’ showed unprecedented increases during the first half of March 2020, with stress increasing by 14 percentage points. percentage at 60% and worry 20 points at 58%. the peaks were about four times greater than what had been measured during the Great Recession in 2008. Reports of these emotions subsequently fell to pre-pandemic levels in both cases. has remained in the mid-1940s since, while daily worry has declined further since the start of the year, to just 38% from April to June, from 43% in January. “

Gallup also reports that “everyday pleasure” is on the rise, although it has yet to regain pre-pandemic levels.

What does all this mean? The most obvious and logical explanation is that the vaccine rollout and economic figures since the start of the year have given people a dose of hope and optimism. It may also be because most – not all, certainly, but the majority – of Americans actually got richer during the pandemic.

Gallup also credits the fact that more of us are able to reunite with our friends and family again:

“Beyond the roll-out of immunization and improving economic conditions, however, is the essential psychological benefit of renewed social interaction. Getting together in person with family and friends and joining with great gatherings of people, such as at sporting events, is a crucial part of social well-being. Past research has shown that those who spend six to seven hours a day in social time experience about one-fifth of stress and stress. worry over any given day that those with no social time at all. emotions have improved to pre-pandemic levels in recent months. “

Of course, those pink numbers don’t mean all is well with everyone. Some people still grapple with the economic and emotional impact of the pandemic, and some groups of people have been disproportionately hit hard by COVID-19. With over 600,000 Americans lost to the virus, millions of us mourn loved ones, and despite the return of jobs, our unemployment numbers are still higher than we would like.

But the fact that more Americans are saying they are “prospering” than at any time in the past 13 years is a positive sign that the country is moving in the right direction.

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Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson