Nova Fellows Carley Riley and Brita Roy’s recent study in the American Journal of Public Health used data from the Gallup National Health & Well-Being Index (WBI) to examine trends and variations in hope in Americans from 2008 to 2020—the largest multi-year dataset on life evaluation in the United States. This study points to specific geographical areas of improvement and suggests that some influences on life satisfaction include exposure to harmful systemic or structural factors, particularly as some declines were concentrated in certain US counties.
“Among the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found a surprisingly optimistic outcome—in 2020, most adults in the United States retained a sense of hope for the future.
A team led by Carley Riley, MD, MHS, Division of Critical Care Medicine, set out to investigate trends and variations in hope among Americans from 2008 to 2020. Responses from nearly 2.8 million participants show that for many, hope remained the same—until 2020, when hope increased.
The findings, published Feb. 23, 2022, in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), provide a rare, comprehensive look at the gap between current life satisfaction and anticipated life satisfaction in the United States.”