America Now Index Fall 2021

Index Summary

Despite significant gains in the economy and overcoming the coronavirus pandemic, Americans’ national outlook has changed very little since the beginning of summer. The overall index stands at 6.5 just as it did in our June 2021 America Now Index (ANI). Slight declines in attitudes about the economy and health have been offset by slight increases in feelings about Americans’ communities, society, and government.

Learn More about the America Now Index

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

Americans’ outlook on the economy continues to be, as it has since the start of the pandemic, very mixed. This quarter sees people feeling more pessimistic about their household finances, their financial future, and whether this is a good time to make purchases or investments. On the other hand, the ANI is at its highest recorded level for the prospect of finding a job.

This is a good time financially for your household

You expect the next few months to be better financially for your household

Jobs right now are easy to find

This is a good time to make purchases or investments


HEALTH OUTLOOK

HEALTH OUTLOOK

Americans have reported being in excellent health, happy with their lives, and satisfied with their access to health care at roughly the same rate since the beginning of the ANI in June 2020 and this quarter is no exception. The biggest change is to the question of risk to personal health with the index dropping from 7.0 in June to 6.6 now.

You, yourself, are in excellent health

You are happy with the life you are living right now

There is little risk to your health right now

You are satisfied with your access to health care


COMMUNITY OUTLOOK

COMMUNITY OUTLOOK

As with the Health Outlook, Americans’ Community Outlook has barely changed over the 18 months of the ANI. This has been driven by strong satisfaction in peoples’ communities and very high ratings for feeling safe. Slightly lower numbers are given for the sense that people can have an impact in their own communities and satisfaction in their community’s values and beliefs.

You are satisfied with the area where you live

You can have an impact in making your community a better place

You are satisfied with your community’s values and beliefs

You feel safe where you live


SOCIETY & GOVERNMENT OUTLOOK

SOCIETY & GOVERNMENT OUTLOOK

Among the four areas measured in the ANI, Americans are most negative about society and government. The overall number is identical to our first report in June 2020 and is driven by relatively negative assessments of leadership working for regular people, that society is fair and just, and that Americans’ kids and grandkids will have better lives than themselves. Only on the question of whether everyone has access to the same opportunities are Americans more positive.

Those in leadership positions are working to make life better for people like you

You feel you have access to the same opportunities as everyone else

Your children and grandchildren will have a better life than you

You feel you live in a society that is fair and just


ABOUT THE AMERICA NOW INDEX

The Marist Poll’s America Now Index provides insight into Americans’ experiences and expectations for the future. Attitudes are measured along a scale of 0 to 10 with “0” indicating the lowest negative point of the scale and “10” noting the highest positive point.

HOW THE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED

Nature of the Sample: Marist Poll of 1,000 National Adults
This survey of 1,000 adults was conducted November 1st through November 5th, 2021 by the Marist Poll. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed by telephone using live interviewers. Survey questions were available in English or Spanish. Mobile telephone numbers were randomly selected based upon a list of telephone exchanges from throughout the nation. The exchanges were selected to ensure that each region was represented in proportion to its population. Mobile phones are treated as individual devices. After validation of age, personal ownership, and non-business-use of the mobile phone, interviews are typically conducted with the person answering the phone. To increase coverage, this mobile sample was supplemented by respondents reached through random dialing of landline phone numbers. Within each landline household, a single respondent is selected through a random selection process to increase the representativeness of traditionally under-covered survey populations. The samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2019 American Community Survey 1-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. Results are statistically significant within ±3.9 percentage points. There are 906 registered voters. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±4.1 percentage points. It should be noted that although you may not see results listed for a certain group, it does not mean interviews were not completed with those individuals. It simply means the sample size is too small to report. The error margin was adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations. 

The Marist Poll America Now Index is reported on a 0 to 10 scale. A mean score for each sub-index statement was calculated. Overall economic, health, community, and society & government indices are derived by calculating an overall mean based on responses to the four sub-index questions in each category. The overall Marist Poll America Now Index is derived by calculating an overall mean based on responses to all sixteen sub-index questions.

Respondents were asked:

Please let me know how much you agree or disagree with each of the following

Economic

A. This is a good time financially for your household
B. You expect the next few months to be better financially for your household
C. Jobs right now are easy to find
D. This is a good time to make purchases or investments

Health

E. You, yourself, are in excellent health
F. You are happy with the life you are living right now
G. There is little risk to your health right now
H. You are satisfied with your access to health care

Community

A. You are satisfied with the area where you live
B. You can have an impact in making your community a better place
C. You are satisfied with your community’s values and beliefs
D. You feel safe where you live

Society & Government

E. Those in leadership positions are working to make life better for people like you
F. You feel you have access to the same opportunities as everyone else
G. Your children and grandchildren will have a better life than you
H. You feel you live in a society that is fair and just