- Most Americans satisfied with country on the economy, national security
- Dissatisfaction still runs high on numerous domestic issues
- Average satisfaction across 27 issues is higher than when Trump took office
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump's upbeat view of the nation's economy, military strength, economic opportunity and overall quality of life will likely resonate with Americans when he delivers his State of the Union address to Congress next week. Most Americans say they are satisfied with each of these aspects of the country as 2020 begins. The majority also feel positively about the positions of women and gays in society.
|The overall quality of life||84||16||68|
|The nation's military strength and preparedness||81||13||68|
|The opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard||72||27||45|
|The nation's security from terrorism||68||27||41|
|The state of the nation's economy||68||29||39|
|The position of women in the nation||63||36||27|
|The influence of organized religion||59||38||21|
|The acceptance of gays and lesbians in the nation||56||40||16|
|Gallup, Jan. 2-15, 2020|
At the same time, the majority of Americans are dissatisfied with a host of issues that Trump would do well to address. These include a variety of domestic issues such as public education, healthcare, abortion policies and guns -- as well as the economic issues of poverty and the distribution of income and wealth.
|The way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S.||43||56||-13|
|The nation's laws or policies on guns||42||55||-13|
|Our system of government and how well it works||43||57||-14|
|The size and influence of major corporations||41||58||-17|
|The state of race relations||36||58||-22|
|The level of immigration into the country today||35||57||-22|
|The amount Americans pay in federal taxes||37||60||-23|
|The availability of affordable healthcare||37||60||-23|
|The size and power of the federal government||38||62||-24|
|The nation's policies regarding the abortion issue||32||58||-26|
|The quality of public education in the nation||35||63||-28|
|The nation's campaign finance laws||23||53||-30|
|The moral and ethical climate||32||68||-36|
|The nation's efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness||22||75||-53|
|Gallup, Jan. 2-15, 2020|
Americans are more evenly split in their assessments of eight other aspects of the country, with fewer than 10 points separating the percentages satisfied and dissatisfied. These include medical care, energy policies, the environment, and government regulation of business, among other issues.
|The quality of medical care in the nation||52||46||+6|
|The nation's energy policies||44||41||+3|
|The position of blacks and other racial minorities in the nation||46||46||0|
|The nation's policies to reduce or control crime||47||49||-2|
|The quality of the environment in the nation||46||50||-4|
|Government regulation of businesses and industries||41||45||-4|
|The Social Security and Medicare systems||43||51||-8|
|The role the U.S. plays in world affairs||43||51||-8|
|Gallup, Jan. 2-15, 2020|
These findings are from Gallup's annual Mood of the Nation survey, conducted Jan. 2-15. Gallup has measured Americans' satisfaction with most of these issues each year since 2001, except from 2009 to 2011, when a more limited number of issues were rated or the question was not asked.
Changes Since Trump Took Office
As Trump enters his re-election year, Americans are more positive on eight key issues than they were just before he took office in January 2017.
Gallup records double-digit increases in public satisfaction with the nation's economy, security from terrorism, military strength and the state of race relations.
Satisfaction is also up by between six and nine points on crime, the position of blacks and other racial minorities, the distribution of income and wealth, and the opportunity for a person to get ahead through hard work.
Over the same period, Americans have grown slightly less satisfied on three issues: abortion (down 7 points), the level of immigration (-6) and the environment (-6).
|January 2017||January 2020||Change since 2017|
|The state of the nation's economy||46||68||+22|
|The nation's security from terrorism||50||68||+18|
|The nation's military strength and preparedness||66||81||+15|
|The state of race relations||22||36||+14|
|The nation's policies to reduce or control crime||38||47||+9|
|The position of blacks and other racial minorities in the nation||37||46||+9|
|The way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S.||35||43||+8|
|The opportunity for a person in this nation to get ahead by working hard||66||72||+6|
|The overall quality of life||80||84||+4|
|The influence of organized religion||56||59||+3|
|The nation's energy policies||41||44||+3|
|Our system of government and how well it works||40||43||+3|
|Government regulation of businesses and industries||38||41||+3|
|The size and influence of major corporations||39||41||+2|
|The moral and ethical climate||31||32||+1|
|The quality of medical care in the nation||52||52||0|
|The nation's laws or policies on guns||42||42||0|
|The nation's efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness||23||22||-1|
|The role the U.S. plays in world affairs||45||43||-2|
|The size and power of the federal government||40||38||-2|
|The amount Americans pay in federal taxes||39||37||-2|
|The availability of affordable healthcare||39||37||-2|
|The quality of public education in the nation||37||35||-2|
|The acceptance of gays and lesbians in the nation||59||56||-3|
|The Social Security and Medicare systems||47||43||-4|
|The quality of the environment in the nation||52||46||-6|
|The level of immigration into the country today||41||35||-6|
|The nation's policies regarding the abortion issue||39||32||-7|
|Note: Gallup did not ask the questions on "The position of women in the nation" and "The nation's campaign finance laws" in 2017.|
|Gallup, Jan. 2-15, 2020|
Long-Term Trend Is Up, but Still Much Room for Improvement
Americans' average satisfaction rating for the 27 issues Gallup has tracked consistently since 2001 is now 47%. This is up three points from a year ago and is the highest since the January 2005 poll.
Today's average satisfaction is roughly on par with the level of the early 2000s. Only in 2002 was the average for this metric substantially higher than it is today. The average 53% recorded that year reflected heightened satisfaction as Americans were in full "rally around the flag" mode shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Today's average satisfaction rating reflects significant increases since 2001 in Americans' satisfaction with the nation's military strength (up 20 points) and the acceptance of gays and lesbians (+21), as well as with energy policy (+12), taxes (+11) and healthcare (+8).
One reason average satisfaction isn't higher now than in 2001 is that satisfaction has since declined sharply on matters related to the performance of the federal government: the system of government and how well it works (down 25 points); the role the U.S. plays in world affairs (-18); and the size and power of the federal government (-12). Satisfaction is also down compared with 2001 on abortion policy (-11), the environment (-10), poverty and homelessness (-8), and race relations (-8).
Additionally, Americans' satisfaction has been persistently low on several other issues, including the moral and ethical climate, campaign finance laws, public education, and immigration. (See link to full trends just above the Survey Methods section.)
Americans' overall satisfaction with the country's direction is at its highest point since 2005. However, the 41% satisfied with the country today leaves 58% dissatisfied, and the detailed satisfaction measures reported here help reveal the source of that discontent.
While large majorities applaud the nation's economy and military strength, they remain critical of the federal government on several dimensions and see room for improvement in numerous areas related to the health and wellbeing of Americans.
Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.