The emotional well-being of the nation, as measured by the CivicScience Well-Being Index, declined significantly this month. After rising dramatically throughout the year, well-being reached a high point in June but has since fallen back to May levels. The drop-off represents the biggest month-to-month decline seen all year, falling 0.7 percentage points to 58.0%.

Even so, Americans are overall still better off emotionally compared to this time last year – well-being rests nearly three percentage points higher than July 2022.

The Well-Being Index score is based on ongoing tracking of six key individual emotional markers, in which consumers report daily on how strongly they feel a particular emotion in the last week. The decline in well-being in July can be attributed to increases in reported fear and sadness, each up two percentage points from June levels. Reported worry and stress also climbed (up 1.3 and 0.5 points, respectively).

CivicScience data show that certain demographic groups of U.S. adults have reported decreased well-being from June to July:

  • By U.S. Census region, adults living in the Midwest (down 1.2 points);
  • By age, adults under age 55, with Gen Z adults (18-24) reporting the steepest decline (down 3.6 points);
  • By race/ethnicity, White and Hispanic adults, with well-being declining the most for Hispanic adults (down 2.1 points).

Recent events could have contributed to decreased well-being this month, including severe weather in the Midwest and extreme heat across the country, and the overturning of affirmative action. Despite the Supreme Court’s overruling of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program earlier this month, student loan debt holders did not report decreased well-being overall; rather, those without student loan debt reported declining well-being. However, those carrying student loan debt have significantly lower well-being overall, resting four percentage points lower than those without loan debt.

With July being National Minority Mental Health Month, CivicScience reported on mental health disorders and healthcare in the United States in the most recent weekly SPEC report (available to clients). Results show that non-white Americans — especially Hispanic Americans — are much more likely than white adults to report that someone in their household is managing a neurodevelopmental disorder (such as ADHD or autism), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or substance use disorder.

Additionally, non-white adults are nearly 20 percentage points more likely than white adults to say they have had to delay or avoid receiving mental health care during the last year. Hispanic adults are significantly more likely to report not having mental health care insurance coverage or not being able to afford the mental health care treatments they need.

Check back next month for the next Well-Being Index update. For additional insights on well-being and the connection to consumer behavior, get in touch.

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.