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2020 Takes Toll on Mental Health



This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Willem Roper


The pandemic and economic fallout have had enormous impacts on the health of people across the globe. Losing a loved one, unemployment and general isolation have all negatively affected peoples’ mental health in ways we are just now starting to comprehend. A new survey offers a glimpse into how difficult 2020 has been for the mental health of Americans.


In a new update of a yearly Gallup survey on mental health in U.S., just 34 percent of U.S. adults said they felt their mental health was in excellent condition when asked in November. That’s down from 43 percent in 2019. Women were significantly less likely to describe their mental health as excellent in 2020, with just 27 percent compared to 41 percent of men. Still, both men and women had 8 and 10 percentage point drops relative to 2019.


Political demographics showed Democrats and Independents were less likely to describe their mental health as excellent this year compared to Republicans. However, those affiliated with the GOP saw the largest drop compared to 2019, going from 56 percent to 41 percent.


This Gallup survey marks a quick, substantial drop in mental health for Americans. The decline in those feeling excellent is the largest in over 15 years, while the drop in those feeling either excellent or good is the largest in the survey’s history. With conflicting realities of a vaccine on the near horizon clashing with rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths across the country, it remains to be seen what the long-term effects of a prolonged decline in mental health will have in the U.S.


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