WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup.com reviews some of the top findings of 2012, spanning political, economic, well-being, and world news.
- The battle for the GOP presidential nomination is historically volatile, with the lead in Gallup polling changing seven times since May.
- Residents in the EU's most troubled economies give their leaders some of the lowest approval ratings in the region.
- Gallup finds financially well-off Egyptians growing less hopeful that their life will improve as a result of former President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.
- Americans' economic confidence improves to a seven-month high, largely driven by the increasing belief that the economy is getting better.
- Gallup finds more American adults uninsured in 2011 than in any year since Gallup and Healthways started tracking it in 2008.
- Gallup reports that more U.S. states were either solidly or leaning Republican in 2011, compared with 2010.
- North Dakota has the best job market in the U.S., based on employee reports of hiring and firing at their place of work.
- Gallup finds that, unlike disengaged workers, workers who are engaged in their jobs are immune from higher stress and worry when faced with long commutes.
- Gallup finds perceptions of personal safety have declined significantly in several Arab Spring countries.
- Young Qataris are more likely than their peers in the GCC to say they plan to start a business in the next 12 months.
- Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the country improves to a 10-month high.
- Mitt Romney surges in the GOP nomination race to lead Rick Santorum by double digits.
- Gallup data links clean drinking water to food security in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Americans are closely split about whether energy development or environmental protection should take priority.
- Residents of Provo-Orem, Utah, are the most likely among 190 metro areas nationwide to say their city or area is getting better as a place to live.
- Gallup finds that weekly churchgoers report more positive daily emotions, especially on Sundays.
- The percentage of 18- to 25-year-old Americans who do not have health insurance levels off at roughly 24%, after declining since the U.S. healthcare law provision allowing adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents' plans took effect in September.
- Gallup economic indicators signal improving economic conditions.
- Gallup reveals that 24% of adults worldwide were thriving in 2011, while 13% were suffering.
- A new study by Gallup and the World Bank reveals that 50% of adults worldwide report having a bank account at a formal financial institution.
- A record-low 62% of Americans say they own their own home.
- Two years after the major BP oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico, residents of Gulf Coast-facing counties continue to suffer from lower overall emotional health.
- Americans are more closely divided than ever over whether same-sex marriages should be legal.
- One in three U.S. workers aged 18-29 are underemployed.
- Registered voters are nearly twice as likely to say Barack Obama, rather than Mitt Romney, is the more likable of the two presidential candidates.
- As Egyptians prepare to vote in their first presidential election since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, 82% expect the election to be fair and honest.
- Gallup research reveals that people living in Iraq are the most likely worldwide to experience a lot of negative emotions on a daily basis.
- Americans' confidence in U.S. banks falls to a record-low 21%.
- Americans' confidence in the nation's public schools falls to a new low of 29%.
- Gallup finds that sub-Saharan Africans with a secondary education are less likely to live in poverty.
- Six percent of Americans name healthcare the country's top problem as the U.S. Supreme Court rules to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
- Gallup finds that women worldwide are as likely as men to be thriving, despite significant gender gaps in employment, perceptions of safety, and physical health.
- In Spain, confidence in the country's financial institutions and banks plummets to a new low.
- U.S. President Barack Obama's job approval rating improves for the third straight quarter.
- Americans are, for the first time, much more likely to see obesity as a more serious societal issue than cigarettes.
- Gallup finds that engaged workers feel nearly as good on weekdays, including Mondays, as they do on weekends.
- Gallup finds that views about local job markets have almost fully rebounded to pre-recession levels in all regions, except for Europe.
- In 15 U.S. states, at least one in five adults say they struggled to afford the food they needed at least once during the past 12 months.
- Nearly half of U.S. adults doubt or are unsure that today's college graduates are ready for the world of work.
- As the 2012 presidential conventions get underway, Gallup reports that the pre-convention leader tends to win.
- A Gallup analysis finds that Utah is poised to be the best state to live in the future.
- Gallup's new "Payroll to Population" measure reveals that 27% of the world's adults were employed full time for an employer in 2011.
- Many key economic and mood indicators are more positive now than in February 2009 when President Barack Obama first took office.
- Gallup finds a dramatic upward shift in Democrats' and independents' economic confidence, starting on opening night of the Democratic National Convention.
- As anti-U.S. protests sweep across the Middle East, Gallup reveals that U.S. leadership had already grown less popular there.
- Gallup finds the majority of American adults say they are not able to use their strengths to do what they do best throughout the day.
- Mitt Romney pulls even in the presidential race among registered voters after a historic win in the first debate.
- Americans' economic confidence improves to the highest level since late May.
- Mitt Romney holds a slight edge over Barack Obama in Gallup's initial "likely voter" estimate, while preferences tilt in Obama's favor among registered voters. A majority of Americans think Obama will win.
- Gallup finds that Americans who like where they live are in better health.
- The inaugural results of a new Gallup question find that 3.4% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
- Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are within one percentage point of each other in Gallup's final pre-election survey of likely voters. Democrats edge out Republicans, 49% to 48%, in likely voters' party preferences for Congress, suggesting Republicans will hold the House of Representatives.
- Gallup finds that Singaporeans are the least likely in the world to report experiencing emotions of any kind on a daily basis.
- The jobs outlook across the European Union deteriorates, with more than nine in 10 residents in Greece, Italy, Ireland, and Spain saying it is a bad time to find a job.
- Gallup finds that entrepreneurs are less likely than other workers to report having ever been diagnosed with chronic health problems.
- U.S. consumers' holiday spending intentions are roughly the same as in 2011.
- Nearly two-thirds of Americans want federal government leaders to compromise on an agreement to avoid the "fiscal cliff" by the Jan. 1 deadline.
- U.S. small-business owners' hiring intentions plunge to the lowest level since the recession.
- Gallup's more than 1 million surveys worldwide reveal that a country's Payroll to Population rate and thriving rate are strongly relate to GDP and to each other.
- Gallup finds that Latin Americans are the most positive people in the world, with their region being home to eight of the top 10 countries for positive emotions worldwide.
- President Barack Obama's job approval rating rises to 56%, the highest level since 2009.
Stay with Gallup.com for more news and reactions to the news in 2013.
Gallup surveys 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older, every day and also conducts additional surveys. In most cases, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 to ±4 percentage points. For detailed survey methods on any results reported here, please visit the original story.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phones numbers are selected using random digit dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone-only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2011 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.