Eighty percent of Egyptians surveyed shortly before the July ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the current upsurge of street violence told Gallup Egypt was worse off than it had been during President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
About half of the population said things would likely be even worse five years from now.
"The latest levels of pessimism, coupled with recent bouts of violence related to the forceful breakup of pro-Morsi protests this week, and the ensuing violence since then, point to a dark and concerning path for the country," the U.S pollster said.
A primary concern among Egyptians is employment, the poll found. The political upheaval and resulting pullback by foreign companies with operations in Egypt has 71 percent of Egyptians believing private-sector job opportunities were fewer than they had been under Mubarak, and 68 percent said government jobs were fewer and further between.
Gallup said 42 percent of those polled figured it would take five years to get things back on track, but about 10 percent think it might never get better.
The in-person poll of 1,149 adults, conducted June 12-19, has a margin of sampling error of 3.3 percentage points.