Young adults under 35 who are single and non-religious report the highest levels of unhappiness since the COVID-19 pandemic began and since 1972, when the General Social Survey began measuring levels of happiness among Americans, a new analysis from the Institute of Family Studies suggests.
While data from the GSS indicates all demographics are generally reporting higher levels of unhappiness, it also shows that in 2021, a historic share of Americans said they are “not too happy.”
“From 1972 to 2018, no more than 18% of Americans ages 35 and over had ever claimed to be ‘not too happy,’ and no more than 16% of Americans under 35 had done so. In every year ever measured, people over and under age 35 had similar levels of unhappiness,” Lyman Stone, a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, wrote. “But in 2021, unhappiness rocketed upwards for both groups, to 22% for those 35 and over, and a whopping 30% for those under age 35.”