Americans Are Happier Than Ever, Gallup Study Shows

Americans are the happiest they've been since 2008, according to a new Gallup study.

The Gallup and Healthways began tracking emotional health in January 2008, and the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that Americans' emotional health index score is now 79.9. The previous high was 79.8, which was reached in March 2008 and May 2010.

The study is based on about 30,000 interviews that were conducted every month between 2008 and 2012.

The participants were asked to answer a number of questions about their emotions over the previous day, including: whether they experienced worry, enjoyment or stress; whether they experienced sadness or happiness; whether they learned something interesting or participated in something interesting; whether they smiled or laughed; whether they were angry; whether they were treated with respect; and whether they were diagnosed with depression.

Compared with September 2011, Americans reported higher scores in all of these categories, researchers found.

For example, in September 2011, 66.1 percent of Americans said that they "did not experience worry a lot of the day yesterday;" meanwhile, 68.9 percent of Americans responded positively to this statement in April 2012.

Similarly, in September 2011, 83 percent of Americans said they "experienced enjoyment a lot of the day yesterday;" meanwhile, 85.6 percent of Americans responded positively to this statement in April 2012.

The researchers noted that the improvements in emotional health occur at the same time as Americans' views improved on their standards of living, as well as economic confidence.

According to this index, the lowest Americans' emotional health has been was in December 2008, when the score was 77.5.