Special Report

The Most Important Things to Americans, According to Data

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Regardless of their age, location, or social standing, adults generally share a variety of basic human needs and wants, including personal freedom, health, friendship, resources, intimacy, and self-improvement. However, an individual’s upbringing, personal philosophies, religious beliefs, and other factors can dictate which of these needs they prioritize. (These are the rich countries with the best and worst quality of life.) 

To compile a list of the most important aspects of life for consumers in the U.S., 24/7 Tempo reviewed the Global Consumer Survey conducted by Statista, a consumer data website. The 2022 survey asked more than 50,000 respondents: “Out of the following list, which are the 3 most important aspects to you in life? Please choose exactly 3.”

The options included priorities such as success, safety and security, having a good time, and learning new things – all of which can satisfy some of our core needs. According to the survey, however, having a happy relationship is the top goal for a majority of Americans. Romantic relationships can satisfy the needs for intimacy and social connection. Living an honest and respectable life was a close second. 

Click here for more details on what Americans care about most in life

The least prioritized aspects of life – selected as being among the most important aspects of life by only 12%-13% of respondents – were traditions, social justice, and career advancement. (Learn about the careers with the worst job security.)

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10. Social justice
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 12%

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9. Advancing my career
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 13%

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8. Traditions
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 13%

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7. Learning new things
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 26%

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6. Having a good time
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 28%

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5. Making my own decisions
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 31%

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4. To be successful
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 36%

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3. Safety and security
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 40%

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2. An honest and respectable life
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 50%

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1. A happy relationship
> Respondents who say this is the most important aspect of life: 52%

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