WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Americans' life ratings were better in April than in any month since August 2012, the Gallup U.S. Life Evaluation Index score indicates.
April's score of 50 was up from 48.4 in March but still below the five-year monthly high of 51.1 from January 2011, but Americans' life ratings have steadily improved each month since November, when they sank to their lowest level in more than a year at 47.2.
Republicans' and independents' life ratings declined last November -- when Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama won re-election -- resulting in the Life Evaluation Index slipping to a 13-month low. However, the decline was brief and Americans' life ratings have trended upward each month since November.
The Life Evaluation Index, part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, classifies Americans as thriving, struggling or suffering based on how they rated their current and future lives on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0-10.
The overall Life Evaluation Index score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of suffering Americans from the percentage of thriving Americans, Gallup said.
Americans' life ratings continued to improve even during the fiscal cliff negotiations in December and after budget sequestration cuts took effect in March.
U.S. life ratings did not show the same resiliency during the 2008 and 2009 economic recession and, to a lesser extent, during the August and September 2011 debt ceiling negotiations and the subsequent downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, Gallup said.
The telephone interviews of 15,241 adults were conducted April 1-30. The survey has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.