Poll: Majority of Americans Thinks U.S. Is at Lowest Point in History

Participants carry an American flag during the 4th of July parade in Santa Monica, Calif. on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Decked out in red, white and blue, Californians waved flags and sang patriotic songs at Independence Day parades across the state. Americans (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

A majority of Americans across all ages thinks the U.S. is at the lowest point in its history that they can remember, according to a poll by the American Psychological Association.

The APA’s “Stress in America” poll, which surveys what stresses Americans and how they deal with that stress, found that 59 percent of adults said they considered the present moment to be “the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.”

The poll, first reported by Axios after its release Monday, notes that this includes adults who have lived through World War II, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 9/11 attacks.

A lot of this stress can be put down to the vigorous 2016 election, which proved to be a “somewhat or very significant” reason for stress for 52 percent of Americans. Meanwhile, money and work remain high stressors for Americans (62 and 61 percent respectively), according to the poll.

While an overall majority of adults from both parties are stressed about America’s future, the APA poll found that the number is higher for Democrats — with 73 percent of Democrats stressed, compared to 59 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents.

In terms of public policy issues, those surveyed put health care (43 percent) and the economy (35 percent) as top stressors:

Additional issues causing stress for about three in 10 Americans include trust in government (32 percent), crime and hate crimes (31 percent), and terrorist attacks in the United States (30 percent). Around one-quarter of adults (28 percent) cited high taxes as a source of stress, while one in five Americans cited unemployment and low wages (22 percent) and climate change and environmental issues (21 percent) as causes of stress when thinking about the nation.

The APA found a broadening gender gap in terms of stress, with women seeing an increase in stress from 2016 to 2017, while men saw their stress levels drop on average. However, among men the poll found that black and Hispanic men reported significantly higher levels of stress than their white counterparts.

Respondents also blamed the media in part for their stress levels. A majority (56 percent) said that following the news causes them more stress, while 72 percent accused the media of blowing events “out of proportion.”

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.


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