Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released yesterday.
This source of stress is slightly more than perennial stressors like money (62 percent) and work (61 percent), according to the APA’s report.
Equally concerning is the fact that a majority of the more than 3,400 Americans polled, 59 percent, said “they consider this to to be the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.”
Here are some other highlights from the report:
- 59 percent of those surveyed report that the current social divisiveness causes them stress. A majority of adults from both political parties say the future of the nation is a source of stress, though the number is significantly higher for Democrats (73 percent) than for Republicans (56 percent) and independents (59 percent).
- Most adults (95 percent) say they follow the news regularly, 56 percent say that doing so causes them stress, and 72 percent believe the media blows things out of proportion.
- 51 percent of Americans say that the state of the nation has inspired them to volunteer or support causes they value. More than half (59 percent) have taken some form of action in the past year, including 28 percent who signed a petition and 15 percent who boycotted a company or product in response to its social or political views or actions.
- Women reported significantly higher stress levels than men (5.1 vs 4.4 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”).
- Black and Hispanic men also reported a significantly higher average stress level (4.8) than white men (4.2).
- From a geographical perspective, those from the East reported a stress level of 4.7, while those from the South, Midwest and West all reported stress levels of 4.8. The regions did differ, however, in their sentiments about the future of the nation: Adults in the West (70 percent) were more likely than those in the South (63 percent), East (60 percent) and Midwest (56 percent) to consider the future of the nation as a somewhat or very significant source of stress.
The chart below shows the most common issues causing stress when thinking about the nation:
I guess the good news is that if you feel stressed, you are not alone, and we all know that misery loves company…