Although decreases in well-being have been difficult to decipher throughout 2022, CivicScience tracking in November can be interpreted as more transparent. Increases in excitement or stress would come as no surprise, as Americans were challenged at the polls at the start of the month. 

Well-being has averaged lower this year from October to November than last year. In 2021, well-being increased from 56.3% at the beginning of October to 57.3% by Halloween. After mid-November, it steadily spiked upward to 58.8%. This year, well-being dropped in October from 56% to 55.3% but saw an increase to 56.1% in the weeks following the midterm election.

Pre-election, CivicScience reported that stress (a marker on the Well-Being Index) was up regardless of political affiliation. The data show both Democrats and Republicans reported similar levels of stress. Data published after Election Day showed a much larger gap in satisfaction with election outcomes, as well as trust in election results, between Democrats and Republicans (with Democrats reporting that they were more satisfied and trustful than Republicans).

Well-being data reflect these differences – well-being among Democrats rose over the last two weeks to 56.1%, whereas well-being fell to 57.5% for Republicans and 54.7% for Independents/Other. Even so, Republicans still average a higher well-being score than Democrats.

How do the holidays fit into the picture of well-being? CivicScience findings show the effects of COVID-19, inflation, and employment concerns are affecting how Americans holiday shop and celebrate. Thanksgiving has fallen in popularity and U.S. adults are prioritizing spending on groceries over holiday shopping due to rising prices. However, expected holiday spending has finally caught up to this time last year. 

When asked how they feel about the holidays and holiday-related stress, 47% of U.S. adults ‘strongly agree’ that the holiday season has become too commercialized and stressful, and an additional 29% ‘somewhat agree’.

The effects of overall holiday stress on well-being have yet to be seen. CivicScience will continue to track well-being and stress as Black Friday approaches and beyond into the December holiday season. Check back next month for updates. And if you want to better understand the impact of well-being on consumer choices, contact us for a demo.

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.