Self-reported Poor Life Ratings Reached a Record High in the U.S.
A new survey by Gallup shows the percentage of Americans who rate their lives poorly enough to be considered “suffering” on Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index reached 5.6% in July, up from the previous high of 4.8% in April and the highest since Gallup launched the index in 2008.
Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index classifies Americans as “thriving,” struggling,” or “suffering” based on how they rate their current and future lives on a scale from 0 to 10.
Those who rate their current and future lives a 4 or lower are classified as “suffering,” while those who rate their current life a 7 or higher and their future life an 8 or higher are classified as “thriving.”
The survey found 51.2% of U.S. adults in July could be classified as thriving, reaching an 18-month low.
The index shows the share of Americans estimated to be thriving has steadily declined since reaching a record high of 59.2% in June 2021.
The lowest recorded thriving rate, 46.4%, was reached twice: November 2008, amid the Great Recession, and April 2020, during the first wave of COVID-induced shutdowns.
The index also shows Americans’ rates of daily stress and worry are higher than a year ago, with 48% of U.S. adults reporting daily stress last month, up from 43% in July 2021.
Daily worrying was reported by 42% of respondents, up from 38% in July 2021.
Why it matters:
Gallup said July’s 5.6% suffering rate marks the first time the index has exceeded 5% in the U.S. and translates to roughly 14 million Americans.