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The Unhappy States of America

Even with the economy humming, Americans are feeling more anxious, depressed, and dissatisfied with their lives than they did in 2009.
A woman at a homeless encampment in Anaheim, California
A woman at a homeless encampment in Anaheim, California Jae C. Hong/AP

America these days is not a happy place. Even though the economy is up, polarization is at an all-time high, and a feeling of malaise, or worse, grips the nation.

Our happiness, or what researchers refer to as “subjective well-being,” is down across the nation, according to a detailed study by the Gallup Organization and the healthcare information service Sharecare. The study takes into account survey results from more than 2.5 million Americans. It examines how people feel in their day-to-day lives across key dimensions of well-being, including physical health and wellness; having supportive personal and family relationships; financial and economic security; having a sense of purpose; and connection to one’s community.