Emotions have been running high for Americans in the last few months – but things have taken a turn for the better, according to the latest CivicScience Well-Being Index data. The collective emotional well-being of U.S. adults continued to climb in leaps and bounds this past December to 58.5%, after hitting the lowest point of 2023 in the fall.

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The holiday season no doubt helped to uplift spirits across the nation, as family and friends gathered to celebrate with one another. Although Americans didn’t report increased feelings of happiness and excitement in December, they did report significant decreases in all four negative emotional markers tracked by the index: stress, worry, sadness, and fear.

In particular, consumers reported far less stress last month (down 4.2 percentage points from November), despite the added stress of the holiday season.

Americans simultaneously reported a big boost in economic confidence during the final two weeks of December, hitting the highest point since the summer. Likewise, well-being also reached its highest point since the summer months.

Well-Being Throughout the Years

A look back at the past five years shows that the emotional well-being of Americans has been in a state of recovery since 2020, after plunging to an all-time low. Overall, 2023 was the best year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching a yearly average of 57.1%. Although not yet back to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 (when CivicScience began tracking well-being), the trajectory is an upward one.

Will the good vibes continue on into 2024? Or will creeping debt and spending concerns, global unrest, and the 2024 presidential election send well-being on a roller coaster ride? Check back for the next monthly reading – or get in touch to learn how you can get ahead of the curve with the Well-Being Index and the CivicScience InsightStore™.

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What is the CivicScience Well-Being Index? 

Everything affects everything – that includes how a person feels at any given moment in time. The CivicScience Well-Being Index rapidly captures the collective emotional well-being of the population on a daily basis by asking thousands of survey respondents to report on how strongly they feel different emotions. Through living indexes like the Well-Being Index, CivicScience helps businesses and organizations better understand what’s driving consumer choices, empowering them with the data-driven insight needed to navigate our rapidly changing times.