WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ “excellent” mental health rating remains at a 21-year low amid the COVID-19 pandemic, holding at 34% after dropping to that level a year ago. Before 2020, this measure of Americans’ emotional wellbeing consistently reached 42% or higher, averaging 45% from 2001 to 2019.
Today, another 47% rate their mental health as “good,” which is a slight improvement from 42% last year. But the combined excellent/good score of 81% is still slightly below its pre-pandemic level of 85%.
Line graph. Americans’ assessment of their mental health as excellent and excellent or good since 2001. The latest data shows an unchanged 34% rating it as excellent, which is unchanged since last year when it fell nine points amid COVID-19. The current 81% who say their mental health is excellent or good is a slight uptick from 76% last year.
The latest findings, from Gallup’s Nov. 1-16 poll, suggest that the public continues to grapple with the emotional effects of the pandemic 20 months after it first began in the U.S. In addition to the 81% saying their mental health is excellent or good, 15% describe theirs as “only fair” and 4% as “poor.”
Americans’ positive evaluations of their mental and emotional wellbeing continue to vary across demographic subgroups. The wellbeing of most groups mirrors the national trend, with their mental health scores worsening last year followed by little to no improvement this year. However, Democrats’ mental health rating has been steady at a relatively low level since 2019 while frequent churchgoers’ has been steadily high.