Nearly half of citizens are "very dissatisfied" with the state of the nation

A Gallup poll says Americans are more pessimistic about the economy and income distribution. Satisfaction with crime is also low.

Joe Biden's second State of the Union Address is just days away. To mark the occasion, Gallup conducted its annual survey of citizens on key issues affecting the country.

The poll, which took place between Jan. 2 and Jan. 22, found that Americans are pessimistic about the issues about the overall direction of the United States. Only 5% were "completely satisfied" with the state of the nation, and 18% said they were "somewhat satisfied." On the other hand, 28% of the participants were "somewhat dissatisfied," and 48% reported as being "very dissatisfied."

In general, only two of the eight issues Americans were asked about are viewed positively by a majority of respondents. These were quality of life in general (65%) and the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard (61%).

However, The Hill highlights, these percentages are far below the highs achieved in 2002, when quality of life was rated positively by of 89% and job opportunity achieved a record 77%.

Social issues mostly unchanged with respect to 2022

Organized religion does not have the approval of the majority of citizens. Only 48% say they are "satisfied" with the influence of organized religion, the same percentage as in 2022. The power of the federal government saw a one-point increase compared to 2022 and, ticking up from 32% satisfied to 33%.

The responses to the eight questions are similar to 2022's responses. There is only one notable difference, which is income and wealth distribution. In 2022, the percentage "satisfied" with this issue was 30% compared to only 24% this year.

Safety and national security

The survey also measured 22 aspects of public policies and areas of life, for which citizens' views are quite mixed. The nation's military strength and preparedness is quite well rated by respondents. In 2022, 61% of Americans surveyed rated this positively, but this year it is up to 64%.

Satisfaction with national security with respect to terrorism also rose in this year's poll. Fifty-five percent of Americans were satisfied with this issue compared to just 47% last year.

Approval of gun laws and policies dropped seven points. While 41% were "satisfied" with this issue in 2022, this year's percentage was 34%. What is not clear is the cause of this dissatisfaction. National policies to reduce or control crime have not been faring much better. With 27% approval, the result is up slightly from the 24% recorded in 2022, although this still represents a small minority.

Abortion and economic policies have low approval

Abortion is another issue with which the public is dissatisfied, although public satisfaction increased from last year (24%), anti-abortion policies still the approval of just 26% of Americans polled this year.

Finally, the state of the economy suffered a sharp decline in public satisfaction. Last year, 33% said they were "satisfied" with the economy, whereas this year the percentage is down eight points to 25%, according to Gallup.