Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project
The Life, Liberty, and Happiness project involves a unique national survey of more than 1,000 Americans, led by a team of researchers at ECU in the Departments of Public Health, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. The project will offer new insights into American public attitudes and behaviors on topics related to the nation’s founding principles:
Examines questions related to opioid use, firearm safety, and social behaviors.
Involves questions concerning attitudes on issues related to free speech, religion, the press, gun laws, taxation, and personal freedom.
Explores topics like financial security and opportunity, optimism for the future, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life.
Two hundred and forty-two years ago, on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted. In the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that life, liberty, and happiness are unalienable rights for all to pursue. July 4th provides an opportunity to celebrate these rights. Yet, it also represents an opportunity to take stock of our progress. From the founding of the country to today, part of the American ideal has been to ensure everyone has the same opportunity to seek life, liberty, and happiness. The goal of the ECU Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project is to provide an ongoing examination of our progress as a country toward achieving life, liberty, and happiness for all Americans. This report serves as our inaugural contribution.
Indeed, in an era that feels increasingly partisan and polarized, this project’s purpose is to highlight shared experiences among Americans as well as identify differences.
Headed by the ECU Center for Survey Research in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, the Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project is a recent nationwide survey of more than 1,100 adults who were contacted through mail, internet, or phone (for more information about the survey methodology, see the Appendix of the report). Indicators of life, liberty, and happiness were selected by a team of experts at ECU.
One of the report’s primary findings is that:
- Despite political divisions, most Americans are satisfied with their lives. However, finances, age, and approval of President Trump reveal differences.
- Those struggling with their monthly finances report the lowest levels of life satisfaction.
- Older Americans are the most likely to express satisfaction with their lives.
Those who approve of President Trump’s job performance are more likely than those who disapprove to report being satisfied with their lives.
Download the Reports
The Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project
The State of the Nation, 242 Years After Independence
The Value of Labor and Valuing Labor
The Association of Employment on Personal Well-Being and Unions on Economic Well-Being
After Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association
The State of Public Opinion on the Legalization of Professional Sports Gambling
Unlocked and Loaded
Guns in the Home and Safety Practices in America