Beginning 2012, Americans Are Even Less Optimistic Than They Were A Year Ago

January 10, 2012, 6:00 PM GMT+0

Americans don’t expect much for the coming year — at least when they think of the state of the world. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 12/31/2011), just 35% are optimistic for the world in 2012, and nearly as many are pessimistic. At the start of 2011, more were optimistic for the year. 

Younger adults are the most optimistic — something not unusual in polls. But like other adults, those under 30 describe 2011 as having been a bad year for the world. 

Americans think a little better about the year past and the year ahead when they consider their families, though even here the results are mixed. 54% say 2011 was bad for themselves and their families, nearly the same percentage as said that a year ago about 2010. 46% say 2011 was good for them. 

Looking ahead, Americans are more hopeful, but less hopeful than a year ago: 44% are optimistic for themselves and their families about 2012, down from 50% who were hopeful about 2011. 25% are pessimistic. But nearly a third don’t admit to either optimism or pessimism. 

Photo source: Press Association

Economist/YouGov poll archives can found here.

Explore more data & articles