A record percentage of Americans say they are suffering, a new Gallup poll found.
The survey found that 5.6% of Americans in July evaluated their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering on Gallup's Life Evaluation Index — the highest number since the index began in 2008.
The previous high for suffering Americans was 4.8% in April.
"Since reaching a record high in June 2021, life ratings among American adults have steadily worsened," Gallup said Monday. "The 5.6% suffering rate in July marks the first time the Gallup measure has exceeded 5% in the U.S. and translates to an estimated 14 million American adults.
"Economic conditions are likely a major contributing factor to these worsening scores. Despite the addition of 528,000 new jobs in July, persistently high inflation is creating a drag on the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, which is now at its lowest point since the Great Recession in 2009."
The Gallup poll also found that 51.2% are thriving — an 18-month low.
Gallup classifies Americans as "thriving," "struggling," or "suffering" based on how they rate their current and future lives using a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10.
People who rate both their current and future lives a 4 or lower are classified as suffering. Those who rate their current life a 7 or higher, and their anticipated life in five years an 8 or higher, are classified as thriving.
The percentage of U.S. adults estimated to be thriving has declined steadily under President Joe Biden since it reached a record high of 59.2% in June 2021.
Since then, the proportion who are suffering has doubled to 5.4% among Republicans. It also has jumped among Democrats to 5.4%, up from 2.9% a year ago. Independents were near 6.2% suffering, down from 7.3% in April.
People thriving in July included 53% of Democrats, 52.2% of Republicans, and 47.7% of independents.
The lowest recorded overall thriving rate was 46.4% twice — in November 2008 amid the Great Recession, and in late April 2020 during the initial economic shutdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gallup also said that Americans' reports of experiencing stress increased to 48% from 43% in July 2021. That remained well below the 60% recorded in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.
Pessimism also pervaded in a new NBC News poll, which found that 74% of voters believe the nation is on the wrong track and 21% believe the U.S. is heading in the right direction.
Also, a total of 58% said they feel "more worried" and "that America's best years may already be behind us," the NBC survey found.
The latest Gallup survey was conducted July 26 to Aug. 2 and was based on web surveys of 3,649 U.S. adults.
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