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Poll: More Americans Stressed and Worried Than Ever

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(CN) – Americans are more stressed, worried and angry than they have been in a decade, according to a new survey released Thursday.

Gallup’s annual poll surveyed over 150,000 people in more than 140 countries to capture the global state of emotions. When asked about their feelings about the previous day, 55% of Americans polled in 2018 said they had felt stress while 45% said they felt a lot of worry and over one in five said they felt a lot of anger.

In addition to the reported numbers either matching or setting records over the past decade, the poll shows that Americans are more worried and stressed than most people around the world.

The 55% of Americans who said they felt stressed beat out the global average of 35%, while those 45% who said they worried a lot was slightly ahead of the 39% global average. Though 22% said they felt anger, a record high for Americans, it still matches the global average and is far below residents of Armenia (45%), Iraq (44%) and Iran (43%).

Broken down into demographics, the poll reveals that younger generations of Americans are more likely to be stressed, worried and angry than older generations. Only 44% of those aged 50 and older said they felt stressed, compared to 64% of those aged 15-29 and 65% of those aged 30-49.

The survey also revealed a connection between income and stress. Almost seven in 10 Americans in the poorest 20% said they felt stressed compared to just 48% of those in the richest 20%.

Gallup found that those Americans with a low income, under 50 and a negative view of President Donald Trump were more likely to experience the negative emotions, but could not point directly to these factors as reasons.

“And, although Gallup does not ask about political affiliation in its World Poll, there was also a strong relationship between stress, worry and disapproval of the job that President Donald Trump is doing,” the pollster said. “Those who disapprove of Trump’s job performance are significantly more likely to experience each of these negative emotions than those who do.”

The poll shows a continued trend of rising worry, stress and anger worldwide. In what it calls its Negative Experience Index, Gallup said 2018 tied with 2017 for having the highest index score since the organization began taking the poll in 2005.

While the global score remains the same, the index score for Americans has risen.

“Higher levels of stress, anger and worry nudged Americans’ overall Negative Experience Index to 35 — three points higher than any previous score to date,” said Julie Ray, writer and editor for Gallup.

Ray said factors like the economy, which is currently ticking upward, might be less relevant to how Americans are feeling.

“The disconnect between a strong economy and Americans’ increasing negative emotions illustrates how GDP and other hard economic data only tell part of the story. In fact, the levels of negative emotions in the past several years are even higher than during the U.S. recession years,” Ray said.

The poll surveyed 150,000 people globally and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4% percent in the U.S.

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