CHICAGO (AP) — Americans are more unhappy today than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.
That's according to the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted in late May by NORC at the University of Chicago.
The survey finds that just 14% of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018.
The survey draws on nearly a half-century of research from the General Social Survey, which has collected data on American attitudes and behaviors at least every other year since 1972.
No less than 29% of Americans have ever called themselves very happy in that survey.
Researchers say the COVID-19 pandemic has led to two seemingly contrasting shift in public opinion: More Americans are unhappy and pessimistic about the future than in previous decades, but more are relatively satisfied financially.
“In combination, these results suggest that people are comparing their finances to that of fellow Americans hurt by the economic fallouts from the pandemic while contrasting their happiness to their own mood prior to the outbreak,” the study says.