NPR

Is Life Better Now Than 50 Years Ago? The Answer May Depend On The Economy

A new Pew Research Center survey finds people worldwide are divided on whether life is better today than it was 50 years ago. Economic strength tends to predict greater satisfaction, but not always.
People eat at a noodle stall at the Han Market in the central Vietnamese city of Danang in November. Vietnamese respondents to the Pew Research Center survey overwhelmingly said life is better than it was 50 years ago. Source: Ye Aung Thu

The way people perceive their country's economic conditions plays a big role in whether they view their lives more positively now compared with the past, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

Of the nearly 43,000 people surveyed in 38 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North and South America, Vietnam had the most positive self-assessment: 88 percent of respondents said life is better today in their country than it

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