Surprise, Less Happiness During Pandemic

Since 1972, the General Social Survey has asked, “Taken all together, how would you say things are these days—would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” There were small blips over the decades, but 2020 was something else.

Very Happy

40%

Not much changed over the decades

30%

20%

10%

…until 2020.

0%

1972

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Many still answered “pretty happy.”

Pretty Happy

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

1972

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Not Too Happy

30%

But more people answered “not too happy” than ever before.

20%

10%

0%

1972

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Very Happy

Not much changed over the decades

40%

30%

20%

10%

…until 2020.

0%

1972

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Pretty Happy

60%

50%

Many still answered “pretty happy.”

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

1972

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

Not Too Happy

But more people answered “not too happy” than ever before.

30%

20%

10%

0%

1972

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

The GSS used to release results every year, but more recently, they’ve released every two years. The 2020 results come from their COVID Response Tracking Study, since the GSS couldn’t run as usual.

Become a member. Support an independent site. Make great charts.

Join Now

Favorites

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

How to Spot Visualization Lies

Many charts don’t tell the truth. This is a simple guide to spotting them.

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.