Most Not Optimistic About 2011 Prospects

December 31, 2010 ( – If you’re optimistic about the year ahead – well, you’re in the minority.


The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 35% of Adults expect 2011 to be a good year or better than the one just past – and that’s the lowest level of optimism found since the end of 2003. Nineteen percent (19%) say 2011 will be a poor year.

The polling organization notes that optimism about the next year has hovered in this range in late December surveys for the past three years – but as recently as late 2007, 68% expected the following year to be a good, if not better, one. In late December 2006, 57% said the same of 2007. 

As for the year just past, only 22% of Adults rate 2010 as a good year or better. That includes four percent (4%) who say it was an excellent year and two percent (2%) who think it was the best year ever. Thirty-one percent (31%) classify 2010 as a poor year overall.  Nearly half (46%) of adults believe the U.S. economy will still be in a recession at the end of 2011, down slightly from 50% the previous two years. Only 19% say the economy will not be in a recession by the end of next year (35% are undecided).

Men gave 2010 a slightly better rating than women did, and also hold a more optimistic outlook for 2011, but fewer women than men believe the economy will still be in a recession by the end of next year.  Investors are more likely than non-investors to believe the U.S. economy will remain in recession.

The number giving this year positive ratings is identical to the number who felt that way about 2009 last year at this time. Forty-one percent (41%) gave 2009 a poor rating at the end of last year.

However, 37% of Americans predicted 2010 would be at least a good year, while 23% thought it would be a poor one.

Personal Health

Economic health aside, Americans are also a bit less optimistic about their personal health. Twenty-five percent (25%) believe their health will be better at the end of 2011, down three points from a year ago and seven points from late 2008. Only 6% expect their health to get worse next year. Most adults (61%) believe their health will be about the same at year’s end.

The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on December 28-29, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.