(CP) A recent Gallup poll indicates that less than half of Americans are "very satisfied" with their personal lives — a near-record low — though the most satisfied are those who are religious, married and upper-income.
At 47%, the percentage of U.S. adults who expressed high satisfaction with their lives dipped below half for only the third time in decades, according to data Gallup obtained from Jan. 2-22 in their Mood of the Nation poll, which they have conducted since 1979.
Since 2001, the analytics company has broken the data down to further assess to what degree Americans are satisfied with their lives.
The number of those who are "very satisfied" with life as of last month marks a steep drop from the high of 90% in January 2020, shortly before the economic devastation and political upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The number dipped sharply to 51% the next year and held steady at that number in 2022 before continuing to decline.
Among the respondents this year, 31% said they were somewhat satisfied, 11% were somewhat dissatisfied and 9% were very dissatisfied.
Gallup noted that Americans have expressed dissatisfaction with life during other periods of economic downturn, such as the lowest point of 46% in 2011 in the wake of the recession in the late 2000s.
The only other time the percentage of those "very satisfied" fell below half since 2001 was 47% in 2008, when the global recession was at its worst.
Seventy-eight percent said they were either very or somewhat satisfied with life this year, which marks a 5-percentage point drop since last year.
The study also broke down the survey by grouping respondents' annual household income, marital status, religious service attendance, education, political party, and age.
The most satisfied were married, college-educated respondents who made $100,000 or more and attended religious services weekly.
Each demographic saw either a decline or no change in their satisfaction except for self-identified Democrats, who saw a 5-percentage point increase in their satisfaction compared to 2023.
Republicans, by contrast, saw their level of satisfaction crater by 10 percentage points since last year.
Of age demographics, those 55 and older were among the satisfied.
"Americans are currently less satisfied with their personal lives than they have been since 2011, whether that is based on the percentage satisfied or very satisfied," Gallup said, which they suggested "coincides with weak economic confidence."
"However, some groups of U.S. adults are still registering majority-level high satisfaction with their lives, including higher-income, married, more religious, college educated, older Americans and Democrats."
A recent study from Pew Research Center showed that young adults are taking the brunt of the nation's economic uncertainty.
Despite being better educated, working longer hours, and earning higher incomes than their counterparts 30 years ago, more than half of those 18 to 34 are financially dependent on their parents, according to data from two surveys conducted Oct. 24 to Nov. 5, 2023, using Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel.
The study showed many in the age bracket remain mired in debt, which has forced them to forego having a family and continue living at home with their parents.