The United States has a reputation for being a hopeful nation, and a new survey indicates this optimistic outlook is still as American as apple pie.
The results revealed a whopping 82% of Americans are currently hopeful about their own futures. An even larger portion, 85 percent, are hopeful about the future of their family.
Three in four respondents also felt hopeful about the future of their local community, according the Human Flourishing Lab, a program from the Archbridge Institute.
The Lab says their 2024 report, “Hope in America: Visions of the Future,” is based interviews with a nationally-representative sample of more than 2,000 U.S. adults.
One of the takeaways: Hopefulness is felt across all demographic groups, with three-quarters (or more) of Americans in every gender, age, household income, and racial or ethnic group expressing hope for their own future and the future of their family.
Nearly 70 percent (or more) of each group surveyed were hopeful about the future of their local communities, with the only exception being Black Americans, 65 percent of whom reporting being hopeful about their community.
Director of the Human Flourishing Lab, Clay Routledge, who co-authored the report, is convinced that hope is “a critical component of individual and societal flourishing.”
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One main indicator of hopefulness is the respondent’s mental health: those who perceive their mental health as good expressed more hope, while those who perceive their mental health as poor expressed less hope—likely because hope is a positive mental state.
82 percent in this study considered their mental health to be good.
“Despite our many debates, disagreements, and divides in an election year, hope is still alive and well in America,” said Routledge.
The survey of 2,049 respondents was conducted last year between October 5-9 (the weekend of the deadly attack on Israel).
Despite the news headlines, 56 percent of the Americans polled reported being hopeful for the future of their country as a whole.
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Routledge is urging people to monitor mental health while nurturing hope. “Hope is a necessary ingredient for making the world a better place.”
“The benefits of a hopeful mindset extend beyond personal achievement. Hopeful people can inspire others to adopt a hopeful way of thinking about and approaching their lives,” says the report, which can be downloaded here.
“For example, hope increases community engagement and the motivation to help address large societal and global challenges. Thus, hope has the potential to play an important role in advancing societal flourishing and human progress.”
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