The percentage of Americans satisfied with their personal lives has dropped roughly 8 percentage points from a record high in 2020, according to a Gallup survey released Wednesday.
The poll, which surveyed a random sample of more than 1,000 American adults from Jan. 4 to Jan. 15, found about 82 percent of Americans are happy with the state of their personal lives, down from 90 percent in 2020.
While the current satisfaction level is significantly higher than the record low of 73 percent in 1979, the latest findings mark the lowest level of satisfaction measured by Gallup since 2013.
Gallup explained that the drop in personal satisfaction from last year could be attributed primarily to the economic downturn in the U.S. spurred by the pandemic, with the virus infecting approximately 26.4 million Americans and contributing to the deaths of nearly 447,000 as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Gallup on Wednesday noted that a drop in personal satisfaction among survey respondents was accompanied by a decrease in satisfaction with employment status.
Among U.S. adults who are currently working, Gallup recorded relatively unchanged employment satisfaction levels, while those who are not working, including those unemployed, retired or students, had a 72 percent employment satisfaction rate, down from 86 percent in 2020.
This comes as the country reported a 6.7 percent unemployment rate in December, a considerable increase from 3.6 percent at the same time a year prior.
Wednesday’s poll, which surveyed adults from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reported a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
This comes a week after Gallup found that just 11 percent of Americans were satisfied with the direction of the U.S., marking a decrease from December, when it stood at 16 percent.
Satisfaction with the direction of the U.S. was also much higher before COVID-19 hit the country early last year, with Gallup recording satisfaction of more than 40 percent in January, February and March of 2020. It remained at 20 percent or lower beginning in May, except for an increase to 28 percent in October and 21 percent in November.