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Personal satisfaction back to pre-recession levels in U.S.

Staff Writer |
As 2017 begins, Americans are more satisfied with their personal lives than they have been in a decade.

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Eighty-seven percent say they are satisfied with their own life, including 57% who are very satisfied. Both figures have improved since dipping during the recession and are at or near pre-recession levels.

Across most major subgroups, personal satisfaction is higher than a year ago. Republicans are one of the few groups whose personal satisfaction did not increase.

The 55% of Republicans who are very satisfied today is essentially unchanged from 56% a year ago. By contrast, Democrats' personal satisfaction increased from 56% in 2016 to 63% in 2017.

Republicans had reported consistently higher levels of satisfaction with their personal lives from 2001 to 2007, during George W. Bush's administration.

By December 2008, both Republicans' and Democrats' satisfaction with their personal lives declined by nearly equal amounts.

While Democrats' satisfaction rebounded by 2013, Republicans' remained lower, bottoming out at 51% in 2011, and has not yet returned to pre-2008 levels.

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