Americans are unhappier than they have been in almost 50 years, according to a new report from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.
Using public opinion data from the General Social Survey, the report finds that only 14% of American adults describe themselves as being very happy, an all-time low for the survey since the question was first asked in 1972. (The number of Americans who say they are “pretty happy,” the orange line in the chart below, has taken a sharp turn higher.)
At the same time, an all-time high of 80% report that they are satisfied with their family’s financial situation. Yet optimism for the future also reached a decades-long low, with 43% of Americans believing that the children will grow up to enjoy a better standard of living than they do, down sharply from 57% in 2018.
Interviews for the study were conducted in May. The survey was completed by 2,279 adults and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.