Americans Less Optimistic, More Nervous About 2022

Americans Less Optimistic, More Nervous About 2022 Americans Less Optimistic, More Nervous About 2022 Coronavirus crisis volunteer Rhiannon Navin greets local residents arriving to a food distribution center at the WestCop community center on March 18, 2020, in New Rochelle, New York. (John Moore/Getty)

By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 31 December 2021 12:45 PM

More than half of Americans say they are more fearful about next year than they are hopeful, a noticeable change from last year when most said they were hopeful about 2021, according to a poll released Friday by Axios and Momentive.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said that they are fearful about 2022, compared to 44% who said they are hopeful about next year. In a survey conducted last year before New Year’s Eve, 63% said they were hopeful about 2021 and 36% were fearful. Just over half, 51%, said that they are fearful for what will happen to the country in 2022, while 54% said they are fearful for what 2022 will mean for the world.

"The end of last year was a particularly hopeful time," partly because there was a change in the presidency but also because we'd just been through the first year of Covid and everyone thought things could only get better after 2020," Laura Wronski, Momentive senior manager for research science, said in a statement.

"I think after this year we realized it's not going to magically get better, that we're going to have to live with Covid for a while."

Despite this, most Americans (61%) said they are more hopeful than they are fearful (37%) when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022.

Momentive surveyed 2,602 adults in the U.S. online from December 14-16. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.