Special Report

How Americans Felt About the State of the Nation Every Year This Century

Source: Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images

2020
> 12-month average sentiment: 26% satisfied, 73% dissatisfied
> January sentiment: 41% satisfied, 58% dissatisfied
> April sentiment: 30% satisfied, 68% dissatisfied
> July sentiment: 13% satisfied, 86% dissatisfied
> October sentiment: 28% satisfied, 71% dissatisfied

A period of tepid economic and wage growth, enormous gains in the stock market, and historically low unemployment (a continuation of trends that had begun under the Obama administration) came to an end with the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus temporarily spiked unemployment to an all-time high and caused a two-month springtime economic recession. In November, Joe Biden beat Donald Trump with a popular vote lead of more than seven million.

Source: Win McNamee / Staff / Getty Images

2021
> 12-month average sentiment: 29% satisfied, 69% dissatisfied
> January sentiment: 11% satisfied, 88% dissatisfied
> April sentiment: 34% satisfied, 65% dissatisfied
> July sentiment: N/A
> October sentiment: N/A

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th U.S. president two weeks after hundreds of Trump supporters ransacked the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers huddled behind closed doors, protected by police officers with guns drawn. Though Republicans did not contest the integrity of the 2016 election — when Hillary Clinton won nearly 2.8 million more popular votes, but lost in the Electoral College — 147 GOP lawmakers voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud after Joe Biden won by 7 million votes.