From the usual suspects in the Tea Party to the newly populist billionaire Donald Trump, Americans have been registering their frustration with the federal government. But it isn’t just government that has used up their patience. According to new polling data from the Gallup Organization, Americans are suffering a crisis of confidence with most big political, financial, business, labor and government institutions (see chart below).
Posts Tagged ‘Gallup Organization’
The new Gallup data on America’s happiest metro regions has just been released. Last year’s Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked Silicon Valley as America’s happiest metro-region. This year Boulder, Colorado is the winner. Boulder recently was named the best city for startups and registers highly on my own creativity rankings. College towns dominate the rankings. DC ranks tenth.
This map below from the Gallup organization shows the results from its newly released Global Employment Index. The Index is based on Gallup data on workers that are employed full time for an employer, underemployed, and unemployed; it charts these employment trends by global region. An interactive map can be found here.
A week or so ago, Newsweek’s Julia Baird pointed to my analysis of the connection between national happiness and tolerance. That reminded me and my MPI colleagues of the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index. The index, which covers 183 countries, is based on ratings for 10 specific factors: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government size, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom. Hong Kong topped the list overall, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Switzerland. Canada came in 7th, the highest among North American nations and slightly ahead of the United States which ranked 8th.
To what extent is economic freedom associated with tolerance and happiness? Are freer nations also more tolerant? Are their residents happier than those of other nations? To what extent is economic freedom also associated with other factors like affluence and material well‑being, the level of human capital, and the transition to postindustrial economic structures? And what is the relationship between freedom and economic inequality?
Last Saturday, I posted the Global Well-Being Map from the Gallup Organization which showed how the countries of the world stack up on an index of well-being which runs from “suffering” to “thriving.”
The Gallup study found a “clear well-being divide between the wealthier countries of northern, western, and central Europe and some poorer countries within eastern and southern Europe.”
Economic development clearly plays a role in levels of national well-being or happiness. A major cross-national study by University of Pennsylvania economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson found a close association between income and the happiness of nations. As Wolfers writes: “1) Rich people are happier than poor people. 2) Richer countries are happier than poorer countries. 3) As countries get richer, they tend to get happier.” (more…)
This map from the Gallup Organization shows the well-being levels of the nations of the world.
Gallup collected the data through from interviews and telephone surveys with individuals across 155 nations between 2005 and 2009. It distinguishes three categories of well-being – suffering (low levels), struggling (medium levels), and thriving (high levels).
More than half of Americans (57 percent) report they are thriving, while 40 percent say they are “struggling,” and three percent report they are “suffering.” (more…)
Here’s one hot off the press.
A new paper with Jason Rentfrow and Charlotta Mellander looks at the role of post-industrial structures – that is, the creative class and human capital as well as values toward openness and tolerance – on the happiness of nations. Our main hypothesis is that these structures and values shape happiness in ways that go beyond the previously examined effects of income. Here’s more from the abstract:
Drawing from previous theory and research, we measured post-industrial structures in terms of higher-level education and the share of the workforce engaged in knowledge-based/creative work. Post-industrial values were measured in terms of acceptance of racial and ethnic minorities and of gays and lesbians. Our measure of happiness is derived from a large-scale global survey of life satisfaction conducted by the Gallup Organization. We controlled for income in our analyses and divided our sample into high- and low-income countries to explore whether income has different effects on countries at different stages of economic development.
Our results indicate that post-industrial structures and values have a stronger effect on happiness in higher-income countries where the standard of living has surpassed a certain level. Income, on the other hand, has a stronger impact on happiness in low-income countries. Thus, we propose that when income rises beyond a certain level, a new system of post-industrial values centered on education, creativity, and openness become better predictors of happiness than income.
The full paper is here.
New research by the Gallup Organization finds that 700 million people – 16 percent of the world’s total population – would like to move to a different country than the one they currently call home.
The first map below shows the percentages of people in various regions of the world that desire to permanently move to another country.
The second map shows the places these movers would most like to relocate to.
Gallup also compiled a very interesting index of potential net migration which compares “the estimated number of adults who would like to move out of a country permanently subtracted from the estimated number who would like to move to it,” as a proportion of the total population. Here are the top five and bottom five countries. Interestingly, the United States did not make the top five.
What determines the level of attachment people have with their communities? And how does that level of attachment and community satisfaction affect local economies? These are big questions that cross the boundaries of urbanism, economics, sociology, and psychology.
For the past several years, the Gallup Organization, in partnership with the Knight Foundation, has conducted a substantial multi-community survey called “Soul of the Community.” I worked on earlier versions of the survey and reported some results in my book Who’s Your City? Here’s a link to the study’s website.
The survey covered 14,000 Americans across the 26 Knight communities each year and asked questions about 10 key domains of community attachment: basic services like infrastructure, the economy, safety, leadership, education, aesthetics (physical beauty and green spaces), education, social offerings, openness, civic involvement, and social capital.
The newly released findings indicate that while the economic crisis is the top community concern of Americans – supplanting crime – the economic crisis did not have a significant effect on community attachment. This is because even though factors like jobs, economic trends, education, and basic services matter to community attachment, they are not predominant factors that matter in people’s community attachment.
The top three factors were openness, social offerings, and aesthetics. Matt Thompson, who edits the Soul of the Community blog, summarized the key survey findings this way.
3. Aesthetics In each community, Gallup researchers asked residents two questions about its attractiveness – how they rated the area’s parks, playgrounds, and trails and how they rated its overall beauty and physical setting. It turns out a pretty city is a lovable city.
You might have suspected this. After all, an area’s aesthetics are one of the first things we talk about when we say why we love a place. Urban design has become a huge topic nationwide over the past few decades, well-reflected in the online conversation through popular sites like Inhabitat and Worldchanging. We intuitively thrill to projects like Manhattan’s High Line – turning an abandoned rail line into a public park – because we recognize that these aesthetic enhancements are important for a community’s well-being.
But would you have expected that our feelings about our community’s aesthetics play a bigger part in our attachment to a place than public safety or highways and freeways? That surprised me, and it suggests to me that as much as we talk about urban design and green space, we might still be underestimating its impact.
2. Social offerings
It sometimes seems as though every city in America is working on a never-ending downtown revitalization project. In recent years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on creating vibrant social cores for our communities, dense places where diverse groups of people can interact. Our study suggests these efforts are valuable.
Researchers asked residents questions about how fun and social their communities are – Is there vibrant nightlife? Is it a good place to meet people and make friends? How much do residents seem to care about each other?
Responses to these questions did a lot to indicate how attached people are to where they live. I think this is especially interesting considering the study covers residents from a number of demographics, not just the young, single urbanites that we think of when we hear words like “nightlife.”
To be a top-three characteristic overall, social offerings had to be important to people of a wide range of ages, marital statuses and incomes. And in fact, it’s an ascendant community trait whether you’re looking at a relatively older community like Bradenton, Fla., or a relatively young community like State College, Pa. – both areas where social offerings are actually the leading indicator for community attachment.
The number one trait we identified as decisive in determining residents’ attachment to a community was openness. To get at this trait, researchers asked whether the community was a “good place for” different groups of people – senior citizens, racial and ethnic minorities, families with kids, gays and lesbians, college graduates, and immigrants from other countries.
In community after community, residents’ responses to these questions told us the most about how attached they were to their community.Urban scholars such as Richard Florida have been talking for years about the economic benefits of tolerance – a community’s friendliness to different groups of people. Our findings underscore the value of these characteristics and add some strong empirical weight. B ut this leaves me with some questions.
Openness might be the most significant trait in determining community attachment, but of all the areas researchers asked about, this is also one of the most personal and subjective. After all, civic leaders can fix up highways and freeways, create parks and bike trails, make housing more affordable, encourage the development of fun nightlife corridors, and work to lower crime – we have recognized public policy levers to address all of these community needs. But how does a community make itself more welcoming? Laws and policies can only go so far in addressing this perception.