Story at a glance

  • The number of Americans who say they are thriving reached its highest point in more than 10 years, despite ongoing global challenges.
  • More than 59 percent of Americans consider themselves to be “thriving.”
  • During the early days of the pandemic, the number plummeted below 47 percent.

The number of Americans who say they are thriving reached its highest point in more than 10 years, despite ongoing global challenges. 

Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index, conducted the third week in June, shows 59.2 percent of Americans consider themselves to be “thriving.” During the early days of the pandemic, the number plummeted below 47 percent. Regardless of current challenges, Americans seem to be the most optimistic they have been in 13 years. 

The Life Evaluation Index breaks down the quality of American’s lives into three categories: “thriving,” struggling,” or “suffering.” Based on a numbered scale between 1 and 10, respondents are asked to rate their current state along with their future expectations. People who rate their current status at 7 or above and their expected situation five years down the road at 8 or higher, are classified as “thriving.” 


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“The percentage of Americans estimated to be “suffering” has remained steadily low throughout the pandemic and in line with pre-COVID estimates,” Gallup wrote in its analysis. “In June, 3.4% of respondents were classified as suffering.”

Meanwhile, American’s levels of stress and worry are dropping, according to the survey. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents in March 2020 said they felt stress “a lot of the day yesterday,” while 58 percent felt worried — both rose significantly over the previous year. 

“Reports of experiencing these emotions have subsequently fallen to pre-pandemic levels in both cases,” according to Gallup. “Daily stress eased to 45% in January and has remained in the mid-40s since, while daily worry has declined further since the start of the year, to just 38% in April through June, down from 43% in January.”


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Daily enjoyment has also seen major improvement. Pandemic challenges, including lockdowns and economic hardships, caused levels of boredom to soar while simultaneously depleting feelings of enjoyment. After boredom shot up to 47 percent in 2020, the feeling dropped to 26 percent in June. 

Gallup notes that the increases in feelings of hope and satisfaction could be due in part to the vaccine rollout and loosening restrictions. But future findings could be swayed by the emergence of the delta coronavirus variant, which could lead to new restrictive COVID-19 policies. 

Gallup’s recent Life Evaluation Index measured the online responses of 4,820 U.S. adults from June 14-20, 2021.


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Published on Jul 22, 2021