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Most people can't remember a worse time for America, according to this survey
An American Psychological Association survey about stress shows a majority of Americans are concerned about the future of America. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Most people can't remember a worse time for America, according to this survey

People worry about money. People worry about work. But now, with current national and world events more inescapable than ever, people are worrying about the future of the United States more than anything else.

The American Psychological Association released its annual “Stress in America” survey, which revealed that most Americans say they can’t remember a worse time in America.

Survey findings

  • 63 percent of respondents reported significant stress about the future of America. 62 percent said money is a big source of stress, and 61 percent also cited work.
  • 59 percent said the present time is the lowest point in the nation’s history that they can remember. This includes some people who lived through World War II, Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Sept. 11, 2001.
  • The leading sources of respondents’ stress about the country were health care (43 percent) and the economy (35 percent). After that were trust in government (32 percent), hate crimes/other crimes (31 percent), then wars and terrorist attacks coming in at 30 percent.

Information overload

News consumption is at an all-time high, and social media gives people more exposure than ever to the problems America faces, and the division those problems can cause among citizens.

According to the survey, 20 percent of people check social media “constantly,” and 56 percent of respondents said that staying informed causes them stress.

And 72 percent of respondents said they think the media blows things out of proportion, adding to the stress.

Do something about it

It’s not all bad. An increase in information and a rise in stress levels has led 51 percent of Americans to volunteer or support causes they value, and 59 percent have taken some action to address issues that concern them, such as signing a petition or boycotting a company or product.

One thing most Americans (87 percent) can agree on is that everyone needs to "take a deep breath and calm down."

Survey methodology

"The 2017 Stress in America survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) between August 2 and 31, 2017, among 3,440 adults ages 18+ who reside in the U.S., including 1,376 men, 2,047 women, 1,088 White, 810 Hispanic, 808 Black, 506 Asian and 206 Native American adults."

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