Editor's Note: Gallup re-estimated its Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and Life Evaluation Index data from January 2008 to April 2009 to address context effects that Gallup discovered after the data were originally published.
Americans' perceptions of whether their standard of living is getting better or getting worse were fairly steady throughout 2010. However, upper-income Americans' outlook improved in November and December, while lower-income Americans grew more pessimistic.
Americans were, on average, happier and less stressed in 2010 than they were in 2009. Holidays brought about the happiest days of the year, while negative news, including a dour economic prediction, severe flooding in the Midwest, and the Chilean miner saga, coincided with the most stressful/worrisome days.