Americans Who Believe in God Are the Happiest People in the U.S.: Poll

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated Apr 24, 2023
Americans Who Believe in God Are the Happiest People in the U.S.: Poll

The happiest people in America believe in God and value close relationships, according to a new Wall Street Journal-NORC survey.

The poll found that only 12 percent of Americans describe themselves as “very happy” – the lowest percentage ever recorded in the survey, which dates to 1972. More than half (56 percent) rate themselves as “pretty happy,” while 30 percent say they are “not too happy.”

A handful of strong beliefs separate those who are “very happy” from the rest of Americans. An overwhelming majority of “very happy” people – 68 percent – say belief in God is very important to them. That’s a significantly higher percentage than among the “pretty happy” group (47 percent) and the “not too happy” group (42 percent).

“They tend to say belief in God is important,” The Wall Street Journal reported of the very happy group. “Two-thirds describe themselves as very or moderately religious, compared with less than half of adults overall.”

A belief in marriage and community also is important to those in the “very happy” camp. Two-thirds (67 percent) of those who call themselves “very happy” say marriage is very important to them. That’s higher than among the “pretty happy” (42 percent) and “not too happy” (37 percent) groups.

Well over a third (40 percent) of the “very happy” crowd say community involvement is very important. That’s more than the pretty happy (29 percent) and not too happy (21 percent) groups.

Politics makes no difference in who is happy, according to the survey, with the share of the “very happy” groups mirroring the data of the general population.

“Many very happy people say they follow politics and are distressed by the state of civic life, but the group includes both Trump voters and Biden supporters,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Neither political party claims a disproportionate share of the very happy.”

In interviews with the “very happy” group, The Wall Street Journal found another common trait: exercise.

“I am the only person at the gym who works out with a 2-year-old in a stroller with me,” said LaTasha McCorkle, 35, of Greensboro, N.C. She enjoys walking, weightlifting and swimming.

The poll was conducted March 1-13 among 1,019 adults.

Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Vanessa Kintaudi

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.