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  • Ryan Wittler

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.

Some background:

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.”

Survey highlights:

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.

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