50 Ways American Life Has Changed in the Last Decade

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46. People are less happy

Overall well-being in the United States is in decline, according to a study of 2.5 million people by Gallup and Sharecare, a healthcare information service. They are less happy and more anxious compared to 2009, even though the economy these days is in a healthy, or certainly healthier, state than a decade ago. The biggest drop in well-being took place between 2016 and 2017. Last year was much more balanced, but it also slightly worsened compared to 2017.

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47. People worry about the future

Americans’ anxiety is getting worse, according to a national poll by the American Psychiatric Association. On a scale from zero to 100, the national anxiety score in 2018 is 51, five points higher than the previous year. Americans worry more about health, safety, personal relationships, politics; but most of all they worry about paying the bills. Americans are worried about the future of the country as well. About two-thirds say they worry about the country and that’s stressing them out.

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48. Most Americans are in debt

America is drowning in debt and the problem is only getting worse. Nearly 81% of baby boomers, 80% of gen Xers, and 81.5% of millennials currently owe money in the form of a credit card balance, student loan, mortgage, medical bills, unpaid bills, or car loan. (Medical bills are the biggest reason why people file for bankruptcy.)

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49. The sharing economy is on the rise

Airbnb, Uber, eBay, Lyft, Getaround, StyleLend, EatWith… There are dozens of new platforms that facilitate trade between people for anything from transportation to eating. The consumer peer-to-peer rental market alone was already worth more than $26 billion in 2013 and its value has undoubtedly increased since then.

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50. People eat out or order in more than they cook

People just don’t like to cook anymore. Americans spent more money at restaurants and bars than at grocery stores. Ever since 2010, expenditures for food away from home have been higher than expenditures for food at home. In 2017 alone, people spent more than $869 billion eating out or ordering in from restaurants, compared to $747 billion on food made at home.