Americans did not like the 2000s. Fully half the country has a negative impression of the last 10 years. But most Americans are optimistic about the next decade. A 59%-majority says the next 10 years will be better for the country as a whole than the last 10. Roughly a third (32%) say things will be worse. Democrats by far have the most bullish outlook on the 2010s — 75% say things will be better for the country over the next decade. Just under half of Republicans have a positive outlook, while independents see better times ahead by a 55%-to-34% margin. Generationally, younger and older Americans stand in agreement that the country has better days to come, while Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 are the most pessimistic about the 2010s — 42% think things will be worse over the next 10 years. White evangelical Protestants are a dour outlier among religious groups — 52% say the next decade will be worse than the last. Majorities of white mainline Protestants (62%), white Catholics (66%) and the unaffiliated (63%) all are optimistic about the next decade. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.