A new Gallup poll is proving what many of us have already been grumbling over therapy sessions and oversized glasses of wine for months: 2017 is The Worst™.
Overall well-being among adults in the United States “has declined substantially this year,” serving as the biggest year-over-year drop since 2008, Gallup reports. While the Well-Being Index score is only down .6 points from 2016, the drop is “statistically significant and meaningfully large” considering how large of a pool was surveyed.
Over 135,000 participants were polled across five categories: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. The areas that fell the most in 2017 are in terms of emotional health (worrying has increased), social well-being (friends no longer provide as much positive energy), and purpose (people are less enthusiastic about the future).
The drop in well-being also seems more than a little intertwined with our current political climate. Democrats had a “significant” decline in well-being this year, and women dropped over a full point in their index score (Republicans’ score and men’s score is unchanged). Blacks and Hispanics also suffered a huge drop in well-being, and low-income households were affected disproportionately as well.
While the notion that well-being would drop so severely for the political party not in power reads like an Onion article, the drop for marginalized communities, women, and POC is meaningful, and needs to be addressed.
In the last days of 2016, a meme began circulating uniting us all in acknowledgement of the shared wretchedness of the year. For “me in the beginning of 2016,” people shared photos of a kitten, Winona Ryder with carefully-applied lipstick, a crackling fire on Twitter. For “me at the end of 2016,” those innocent pictures were juxtaposed with snarling hyenas, Winona Ryder with ash across her face in The Heathers, a burning trash can.
Still, if 2016 was The Worst™, we need a new adjective for 2017.