- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Americans’ emotional well-being slid to a new low this year, reaching its worst levels in more than two decades of annual polling due to economic anxieties, Gallup reported Wednesday.

The percentage of Americans describing their mental health as “excellent” dropped to 31% in the polling company’s latest survey. That’s 3 percentage points lower than the previous low Gallup recorded last year and 2020, the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another 44% of U.S. adults rate their mental health as “good,” 17% call it “only fair” and 7% describe it as “poor.” The latter is the highest since the annual poll started in 2001.

The company said mental health reached a new bottom because “although the pandemic has improved, some of its ill effects remain.”

“These include economic concerns precipitated by the highest inflation rate in more than four decades,” Gallup said.

The combined 75% who described their mental health as “excellent” or “good” this year is 10 points shy of the average since 2001, the company noted.

Women, young adults and low-income Americans reported the worst emotional well-being in this year’s poll.

The poll found that 73% of women, 65% of Americans with annual household incomes under $40,000 and 54% of adults ages 18-34 described their mental health as “excellent” or “good.”

Among all respondents, 23% reported seeing mental health professionals this year, up from 13% in 2004. Gallup also found that the share of Americans describing their physical health as “excellent” fell to 26%, a record low by one point.

Gallup conducted the randomized national telephone survey of 1,020 adults on Nov. 9-Dec. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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