UPDATED: OCTOBER 15, 2021

Tracking the Emotional State of Americans
A monthly look at how moods are shifting throughout the country

By Sarah Green and Peyton Shelburne

 

Each week, Morning Consult asks a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults whether they are happy, angry, tired, optimistic, scared and a range of other emotions. This dataset, which will be released on a monthly basis, provides real-time insight into the shifting mood of the country, including breakdowns by age, gender, class and politics. The latest results have a margin of error of 2 percentage points, and are based on a survey conducted Oct. 8-11, 2021, among 2,200 U.S. adults

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Americans tend to feel positive emotions: Americans are 30 percentage points more likely to report feeling happy (68%) than feeling sad (38%), and overall are more likely to express positive emotions than negative ones. On the other hand, 3 in 5 Americans reported feeling tired, compared to about half who said they felt energized. 

Gen Z is 18 points less likely than any other generation to report feeling optimistic: In the latest survey, baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials were all equally likely to report feeling optimistic (63%). Comparatively, only 45% of Gen Zers report feeling optimistic. Another 45% of Gen Zers report feeling sad, 11 points higher than the share of baby boomers who said the same. 

Nearly 4 in 5 Americans are “ready for change,” regardless of their political party: In early November, there was a 37-point gap between the share of Republicans (52%) and Democrats (89%) who were ready for change. In the latest survey, a roughly equal share of Republicans (81%) and Democrats (82%) say they are ready for change.

About half of Americans are optimistic about the future of the United States and the future of the world: Last month, American optimism about both the future of the world (47%) and the future of the United States (50%) dipped to the lowest level since tracking began last October. This week, optimism ticked up, with 52% of Americans saying they are optimistic about the future of the United States and 51% expressing optimism about the future of the world. Roughly 7 in 10 Americans are still optimistic about their future personal well-being. 

Americans Tend to Feel Positive Emotions More Than Negative Ones
The share of U.S. adults who said that the following described their personal mood either “very well” or “somewhat well”:
This chart shows the combined average share of adults who say they feel positive emotions (happy, energized, content and optimistic) and negative emotions (angry, anxious, tired, sad and scared).

Gen Z Reports Feeling Less Optimistic and More Sad Than Any Other Generation
The share of respondents who said that the following described their personal mood “very well” or “somewhat well”:

Nearly 4 in 5 Americans are Ready for Change
The share of U.S. adults who said that “ready for change” described their personal mood “very well” or “somewhat well”:

About Half of Americans are optimistic About the Future of the U.S.
The share of U.S. adults who said that they were “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about the following:

Higher-Income Earners and Well-Educated Adults Are More Optimistic About Their Future Personal Well-Being
The share of U.S. adults who said that they were “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about their future personal well-being.

Subscribe

Our Best Intel

A Roundup of Morning Consult's Latest Data, Charts & Insights

All fields are required

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!