Gallup polls Americans on health, happiness, and the environment

    In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, an elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pa. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, File)

    In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, an elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pa. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, File)

    NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

    Results from a new Gallup poll show American adults tend to get happier as they age, and do better than those younger on measures such as financial well-being, community, and purpose.

    Finding also show that older adults are happier in some states than others; they are most happy in Hawaii and least happy in West Virginia. Pennsylvania and Delaware are basically in the middle rank of the states while New Jersey is in the bottom ten.

    President-elect Donald Trump will pick an opponent of Obama’s climate change agenda as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Trump has indicated his strong desire to promote more development of fossil fuels and less focus on climate change initiatives.

    But Gallup data show that (a) Americans favor a focus on alternative energy more than a focus on development of oil, gas, and coal. And (b) when given a choice, Americans favor protecting the environment over the development of energy.

    In new Gallup polling, when asked to name the most urgent health problem facing the United States, more Americans now mention healthcare costs, 27percent, than mention access to healthcare, 20 percent. It’s been a number of years since Americans named an actual disease as the top problem.

    Ohio legislators passed a bill this week that makes it illegal to perform an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be heard, which could be at around six weeks. This at a time when Trump has pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overthrow Roe V. Wade. All of which brings us to the question of where Americans stand on the issue of abortion. The bottom line: relatively few want abortion banned altogether, but the majority do favor restrictions.

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