Economic Satisfaction Continues Downward Trend in US, Dropping 35% Since 2020

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Americans’ satisfaction with the state of the nation and its economy dropped after the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and into 2021, and hasn’t improved over the past 12 months. According to Gallup’s Mood of the Nation survey, satisfaction in early 2022 in a variety of categories is as bad as it’s been in two decades of Gallup measurement.

While the quality of life scored higher than many other areas, it dropped from 84% satisfaction in 2020 to 69% in 2022. Satisfaction regarding the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard is up two percentage points to 60% in 2022, but still a substantial decline from 72% in 2020.

Over the past year, one of the most significant declines in satisfaction has been with the state of the economy. Gallup noted that inflation is likely a major driver of lowered satisfaction with the state of the economy, which fell 10 points to 33% in 2022 after a 25-point drop in 2021.

The lower satisfaction rating has occurred even though there have been improvements in unemployment, economic growth and the stock market, Gallup reported. Americans were less satisfied with the state of the economy in 2012 (13%), 2013 and 2014, Gallup added, and satisfaction may have been lower in 2009 through 2011 when the poll was not conducted.

There were also differences in satisfaction between Democrats, Republicans and Independents in the Gallup survey.

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The state of the economy had one of the biggest drops (38 points) in Republican satisfaction from 56% to 18%. However, Republicans were generally satisfied with the opportunity to get ahead by working hard (70%). Democrats’ satisfaction with the economy increased from 30% to 58% and the opportunity to get ahead by working hard also increased from 34% to 55%. Independents had many declines in 2022. Satisfaction with the state of the economy is down 14 points from 40% to 26%

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