The percentage of American adults who say they are “thriving” dropped 4.1 percent from June to the end of the year, according to Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index.
The rate was 59.2 percent in June but dipped to 55.1 percent of Americans surveyed from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
November-December interviews occurred as the delta variant of COVID-19 surged throughout the United States but before the omicron variant began to rapidly spread.
The June figure was the highest in 14 years, measured after COVID-19 vaccinations became available across the country.
The November-December Gallup results were collected by a Gallup Panel web survey of 4,001 American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Gallup Panel is a non-opt-in panel of 115,000 adults in all.
The percentage of Americans who were “thriving” hit a record low in April 2020, tied with the figure during the Great Recession, at 46.4 percent. This was likely related to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns.
The percentage of Americans classified as “suffering” is steadily low. The figure was 3.7 percent in November-December, following figures of 3.4 percent in June and 3.6 percent in January 2021. These percentages are in line with pre-COVID-19 estimates.
The Gallup Life Evaluation Index collects Americans’ ratings of their current and future lives on a scale of zero to 10, based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Gallup uses this data to classify participants into the “thriving,” “struggling” or “suffering” category.
Americans are classified as “thriving” if they rate their current life a 7 or above and their expected future life an 8 or above.