Satisfaction among US adults with a variety of aspects of American life has declined since the early days of the economic recession in 2008, according to a new Gallup poll. Americans’ satisfaction with six of seven different economic, moral, or governmental aspects is down significantly compared with Gallup’s prior measurement three years ago, as the economy was slowing down but before the financial crisis hit.
8 in 10 Still Satisfied with Quality of Life
Currently, Americans are most likely to express satisfaction with the overall quality of life in the United States (77%, down 6% from January 2008). Majorities also remain satisfied with the influence of organized religion (58%, up almost 4% from January 2008) and the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard (55%, down 19% from 2008), though the latter has shown the greatest decline since 2008.
Americans are least satisfied with the size and influence of major corporations (29%, down 17% from January 2008), the moral and ethical climate (30%, down 23% from January 2008), and the size and power of the federal government (31%, down 24% from January 2008).
Americans Less Satisfied With US Economic Opportunity
The sustained economic downturn has possibly affected Americans’ views of opportunity in this country. Fifty-five percent are satisfied with the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard, down 13 points from early 2008, when the economic slowdown was becoming apparent. Americans’ satisfaction with economic opportunity had been fairly stable from 2001-2008, ranging between 66% and 77%.
Satisfaction with Influence of Religion Unchanged, Fewer Satisfied with Morals
The one area in which Americans’ satisfaction has not changed in recent years concerns the influence of organized religion. The fifty-eight percent who are satisfied today is in line with readings of 55% to 59% since 2003. Americans were a bit more satisfied with this in 2001 (64%) and 2002 (69%).
At the same time, Americans remain largely dissatisfied with the moral and ethical climate in the US. This year’s 30% marks a new low.
LGBT More Economically Optimistic
Three-quarters (74%) of all Americans believe the economy will improve or remain the same this year, however four in 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) (35%) expect the 2011 economy to improve, while that optimistic attitude is held by only 29% of heterosexual adults, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications.
About the Data: Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 7-9, 2011, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.