Majority of Americans Believe We Are Living in The Lowest Point in U.S. History

The news just goes from bad to worse for President Donald Trump. Despite decent U.S. economic data, the president’s approval ratings are at historic lows and voters think he is untrustworthy, racist, and thin-skinned. They also do not approve of the way he has handled the economy, North Korea, Iran, Puerto Rico, and healthcare. So perhaps not surprisingly, a majority of Americans believe this period in time is the lowest point in U.S. history that they can remember.

According to a poll published by the American Psychological Association, 59% of Americans think “this” is the lowest point in the country’s history that they can recall. This figure spans every generation, including those who lived through World War II, Vietnam, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the September 11 terrorist attacks.

An even larger 63% of Americans say they are stressed about the nation’s future. That’s slightly larger than perpetual stressors like money (62%) and work (61%).

While a majority of American adults (60%) say they get stressed when they think about the future of the country, the number is highest for Democrats at 73%. Of Republican voters, 56% are stressed about the future of the U.S., while 59% of independents are.


“The uncertainty and unpredictability tied to the future of our nation is affecting the health and well-being of many Americans in a way that feels unique to this period in recent history,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D. and chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association.

What is causing American adults the most stress? For that, you simply need to focus on Washington. Americans are most stressed about healthcare (43%), followed by the economy (35%), trust in their government (32%), hate crimes (31%), crime (31%), wars/conflicts with other countries (30%), and terrorist attacks on American soil (30%). Around 20% of Americans say they are stressed about unemployment, low wages, climate change, and environmental issues.

Geography has nothing to do with ongoing pessimism in America. Those in the East reported a stress level of 4.7, while those in the South, Midwest, and West reported stress levels of 4.8.

The poll was conducted from August 2 to August 31 among 3,440 participants. And a lot has happened since then. Chances are good that these numbers would be even worse if the poll was conducted today.


APA Stress in America Survey: US at ‘Lowest Point We Can Remember;’ Future of Nation Most Commonly Reported Source of Stress,” American Psychological Association, November 1, 2017.

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey,” MSNBC, October 30, 2017.