Americans who rate their mental health as 'excellent' remain at two decade low: poll

The percentage of Americans who rate their mental health as “excellent” remains at a two-decade low of 34 percent, according to a new poll released on Friday.

The Gallup poll revealed that 34 percent of Americans surveyed rate their mental health or emotional well-being as “excellent.” A similar poll conducted last year during this time found the same percentage of Americans also rated their mental health this way.

Comparing the responses to Friday’s poll to survey responses dating back to 2001, the Friday poll indicates that this mental health rating remains at an all-time low for Americans since 2001. In 2005, 42 percent of Americans rated their mental health at “excellent” — the next lowest percentage.

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The poll did find that there was a slight increase in the percentage of Americans who rated their mental health as “good,” however. The poll released on Friday found that 47 percent of respondents rated their emotional well-being as “good” compared to 42 percent during this same period in 2020. 

The Gallup poll also found that 4 percent of those surveyed rated their mental health as “poor” compared to 5 percent in 2020. Americans who rated it as “only fair” were at 15 percent compared to 18 percent last year.

The percentage of Americans who rate their physical health as “excellent” was also at a two-decade low. The Gallup poll found that only 27 percent of respondents rated their physical health as “excellent,” compared to 29 percent last year. 

The percentage of respondents who rated their physical health at “good” was 51 percent, “only fair” at 16 percent and “poor” at 6 percent.

The poll indicates that despite widespread vaccine availability, a lack of severe COVID-19 restrictions compared to what was imposed last year and some returning to larger gatherings and visits with family and friends, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to negatively impact the well-being of Americans.

It also comes amid a particularly tricky time as the U.S. has instituted some travel restrictions amid the rise of the newly detected omicron variant, of which a handful of cases have already been detected in the country. 

The Gallup poll was conducted between Nov. 1-Nov. 16 with a random sample of 815 American adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the poll was conducted through telephone interviews. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points at a confidence level of 95 percent.