Most Americans polled say 2021 was horrible year

Many Americans report that they are worse off financially than one year ago.

Updated: January 2, 2022 - 11:59pm

Americans worried about everything from finances to COVID-19 have ranked 2021 as a horrible year in multiple polls.

Half of Americans say 2021 was the "worst year of their lives so far," and 53% described the year as very unpleasant, according to OnePoll's end-of-the-year survey. In a Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday, 48% of respondents described 2021 as poor. Nearly two-thirds of Americans said 2021 was bad or terrible in a YouGov poll, and 58% said it was "one of the worst years in American history."

Just 2% of American adults told Rasmussen that 2021 was one of the best years ever, while 5% said 2021 was excellent and 16% said it was a good year.

In the YouGov survey, Republicans (75%) were more likely than Democrats (43%) to call 2021 one of the worst years in U.S. history. 

According to the YouGov poll, Democrats appear more pessimistic about the past than Republicans, but they are more optimistic about the future.

Democrats are more likely than their GOP counterparts to call the last decade one of the worst in American history, at 34% to 25% per YouGov. 18% of Republicans call the past 10 years one of the best decades in American history compared to 6% of Democrats. 

Looking to 2022, 28% of Democrats told YouGov they think it will be a good or great year for America, versus 9% of Republicans, most (66%) of whom think 2022 will be bad or terrible.

The Rasmussen poll asked respondents if they felt better or worse off economically, and nearly half said worse by a 48% to 20% margin, The Washington Examiner reports.

The Rasmussen report added, "If there’s any bright spot in the public’s grim assessment of 2021, at least it was better than 2020, which Americans rated the worst year in more than a decade of surveying."

The overwhelmingly negative responses come less than one year into President Joe Biden's presidency. An average of 51.6% of people disapprove of Biden, while 43.3% approve. Excluding President Donald Trump, Biden's approval rating is lower than any of his recorded predecessors dating back to President Harry S. Truman.

Last week, COVID case numbers broke records on several days

Inflation in November hit its highest point in nearly 40 years. The U.S. Department of Labor Consumer Price Index stated, "The all items index rose 6.8 percent for the 12 months ending November, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1982.” Inflation is expected to climb further in 2022 as well.