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Got to Admit, It's Getting Better

BY RELEVANT CURRENT / GLOBAL / ISSUE 61 December 15, 2012

It’s been a tough four years for a lot of people. Wall Street broke. Unemployment went off the rails. The housing market ran into a wall. The national debt now creeps toward an ominous fiscal cliff.

And yet, in spite of it all, the American public—and young adults in particular—have landed on decidedly more optimistic ground than where they stood in the first month of President Obama’s first term.
In fact, the ratio of Americans who reported their well-being as “struggling” versus “thriving” in October 2012 had nearly flipped since February 2009, according to a recent Gallup poll.

And the 18-to-29-year-old demographic showed itself to be the most positive of them all. Four years ago, 56 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said they were thriving, and that percentage has since risen to 61.2.

There’s a reason the Pew Research Center has long touted the Millennial generation as “confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change.” Anything could happen—and Millennials tend to think that “anything” will turn out OK.

What can we say? We just prefer being positive.