The Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project - July 2019

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The Life, Liberty, and Happiness Project – July 2019

Executive Summary

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.

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 1,000 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.

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Peter L. Francia, Ph.D


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