Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Shocker: Americans 'thriving' reaches an all-time high in June after turbulent year

Americans are thriving at never before seen levels, according to a new study. (Pexels)

Last month was the happiest Americans had been pretty much ever, according to a new report from Gallup researchers—and all it took was a one-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

Over 59% of Americans were "thriving" in June, according to the report's Life Evaluation Index, up from a previous record high of 57.3% in September 2017. Record lows were recorded during both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Recession. The poll has been conducted for the last 13 years.


The peak occurred just as Austin approached the low-end threshold for herd immunity, with 70% of its population 12 and older receiving at least the first dose of the COVID vaccine. President Joe Biden hoped to see America reach that rate by July 4, but the country fell just short with a 67% vaccination rate.

"Shot Girl Summer" (the cultural phenomenon that encourages everyone to just live their best life) has also injected newfound enthusiasm for social events, outdoor fun and travel. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport announced last month that it had reached pre-pandemic summer travel levels. Austin FC, the city's first major league sports team, has played in front of a sold out crowd for each of its three home matches, and beloved Austin events and festivals like Austin City Limits have sold out in minutes.

In April 2020, as many Americans begrudgingly accepted that the pandemic was more than just a long spring break, "thriving" percentage points plummeted ten points to just 46.4%, tying for a record low.

The plunge was the most drastic change on record, trumping both when Dow Jones reached its lowest level during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2013 government shutdown.

The results are from a six-day period from June 14-20 and derive from a survey of just under 5,000 U.S. adults. The poll considers the quality of respondents' current and future lives, with three options: "thriving," "struggling" and "suffering." In order to be thriving, those surveyed must rate their current life at least a 7 and their life in five years at least an 8 on a 10-point scale.


Even in the heat of the pandemic, those who identified as "suffering" made up a minority, accounting for just 3.4% of respondents.

Boredom, the silent mood killer, was much to blame for the drop in "thriving" rates mid-COVID: while almost half of respondents reported boredom in April 2020, 26% were grappling with that emotion by June 2021.

Unhappiness can be tied to unemployment, as it was in both 2008 and April 2020, when the U.S. faced over 30 million unemployment claims. But even with the Great Resignation, which has seen millions of workers quit, "thriving" levels are at an all-time high.


Comedy, live music, McConaughey Q&A: Events in Austin this weekend

💈 Finley’s Pop-up Barbershop

Experience luxury grooming the old-fashioned way at a revival of the Driskill Hotel’s early 1900s barbershop put on by Austin-based Finley’s. The pop-up will offer men’s haircuts, beard trims, hot towels, neck massages and straight razor shaves. Click here to book an appointment.

9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday | The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

😂 Moontower Comedy Presents Hannah Gadsby

Catch veteran Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby touring with her newest show, “Body of Work,” written while she pondered the effects of the pandemic. Tickets are still available in the orchestra section, starting at $60.

Doors at 6 p.m. Friday | The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.

🎤 Rex Orange County Who Cares? Tour

Alexander James O'Connor, AKA Rex Orange County, is returning to Austin to perform his newest album, “Who Cares?” Tickets are still available starting at $49 each.

Doors at 7:30 p.m. Friday | Germania Insurance Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd.

⚾️ Round Rock Express vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

Catch our local Minor League team play against the El Paso Chihuahuas at home this week. Tickets start at $22.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Friday | Dell Diamond, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd.

🎶 Bleachers—The 2022 Tour

Enjoy a night of indie-pop from Grammy-winning producer Jack Antonoff, whose stage name is Bleachers, from the intimacy of Stubb’s. Tickets are still available starting at $33.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Saturday | Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River St.

🎸 The Peterson Brothers with Latasha Lee

Catch the groovy, Bastrop-born brothers are taking their rightful place on stage with soulstress Latasha Lee at Antone’s. Arrive early, seating fills up quickly! The show is 21+ and tickets start at $15.

Doors at 7 p.m. Saturday | Antone's Nightclub, 305 E 5th St.

🤠 Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey Q&A

Famous former Longhorns Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey are joining forces for a Q&A about catching greenlights and living a limitless life. Each ticket will get the holder a copy of Acho’s new book, “Illogical: Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits.” Tickets are $39 per person.

1:15 p.m. Sunday | LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River St.

⚽️ Austin FC vs. Orlando City

Austin FC is facing off against Orlando City at the biggest party in Austin, Q2 Stadium. Tickets are still available starting at $65 but ticketless Verde fans can still support at one of the many Pub Clubs.

7 p.m. Sunday | Q2 Stadium, 10414 Mc Kalla Pl.

Austin FC wins big! Team makes history, takes No. 1 spot in 2-1 LAFC win

Over a year after its first loss, Austin FC was all smiles as it beat LAFC to take home the top MLS West spot Wednesday. (Austin FC/Twitter)

Over a year after they took the stage for the first time in Los Angeles, Austin FC returned to Banc of America Stadium to snatch the No. 1 spot from LAFC in a 2-1 statement win late Wednesday night.

Keep ReadingShow less