Story at a glance

  • Approximately 90 percent of Americans surveyed report being “very” satisfied or simply “satisfied” with their personal lives.
  • Influential subgroups include political party affiliation, with Republicans beating out Democrats in satisfaction ratings.
  • This comes as Americans also report high levels of confidence in personal finances.

A fresh Gallup poll brings optimistic statistics: a record high of 90 percent of Americans report satisfaction with their lives. 

The previous record was registered in 2003, where 88 percent of Americans reported the same satisfaction sentiment. 

Gallup conducted this survey, Mood of the Nation, between the dates of Jan. 2-15, with a random sample of 1,014 adults living across the U.S. The survey was conducted via telephone calls. 

While Gallup doesn’t explicitly define ‘personal life’ in this context, 65 percent, or approximately 2 out of 3 survey respondents reported a “very” high level of satisfaction with the quality of their personal lives. A further 25 percent of respondents polled still said that they are satisfied with their personal lives, albeit saying only “somewhat” as opposed to the aforementioned “very” qualifier.

Some influential demographics behind this year’s report are household income and marital status, as well as political party. 

Naturally, respondents with a higher reported household income more frequently listed a “very” high level of satisfaction with their personal lives, with Gallup results showing about 76 percent of Americans with a household income over the $100,000 mark list being “very” satisfied. 

Notably, the demographic with a staggering 95 percent reported being “very” satisfied with their personal lives are married Republicans, per Gallup’s analysis

Readings across the political party spectrum remain consistent with the above analysis; 80 percent of Republicans report being “very” satisfied with their personal lives, whereas Democrats polled register a lower 56 percent satisfaction. 

Slight discrepancies exist between races, with 67 percent of whites being “very” satisfied, versus the 59 percent of nonwhites who report the same. Men edge out women slightly in the “very” satisfied category as well, showcasing 67 percent and 63 percent, respectively. 

Gallup preambled this report by noting that there was “some variation,” personal life satisfaction was recorded for the majority of Americans since 1979, with an average of 83 percent of respondent reporting satisfaction over the years. Statistic results tend to be synchronized with the national and global economy. 

This is best illustrated with Gallup’s other recent poll that registered Americans’ record-high optimism regarding their personal finances. Fifty-nine percent of respondents told Gallup that they are in a better financial position today versus a year ago, with a strong 74 percent (roughly 3 out of 4 respondents) optimistic that they will continue being financially satisfied within a year.

These surveys come off the heels of U.S. President Trump’s State of the Union address, where he touted a strong economy. 

Biweekly Gallup numbers also show a 49 percent approval rate for Trump, versus a close 50 percent disapproval. Over the late January days between the 16 to 29, Trump’s approval rating rose by approximately 5 percentage points. 

Published on Feb 06, 2020