21 Charts Review Biden's America In 2021- Part 2

21 Charts Review Biden's America In 2021- Part 2

The second and final installment of The Year That Was In Numbers series

tippinsights Editorial Board

In this article, we present Part Two of our two-part year-end series.  You can read Part One here.

11.  Direction Of The Country

Democrats are the most optimistic about the country's future with President Biden in the driver's seat.

The biggest swings in optimism occurred between September 2020 and January 2021.  While Democrats' and Republicans' perspectives have shifted dramatically, President Biden's election has had little impact on independents.

The December reading of 36.5 for independents reflects their dissatisfaction with the country's direction, which could have implications for incumbents in the November 2022 midterm elections.

The TIPP index ranges from 0 to 100.  An index of 50 or above is positive, below 50 is negative, and 50 is neutral.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Direction of country index by party

12.  America's Standing In The World

The IBD/TIPP Standing in the World Index is a unique metric that measures Americans' opinion on the country's position as a world leader.  Similar to Direction of Country, major shifts occurred in the 2020 election season.

After the Afghan debacle, the index declined 8.2 points or 16.1%, from 50.9 in August to 42.7 in September.  It is the second-largest monthly percentage drop in the last 20 years, trailing only the October 2017 drop of 20.1%, when the Las Vegas shooting killed 58 people and injured 500 more.

The index ranges from 0 to 100.  An index of 50 or above is positive, below 50 is negative, and 50 is neutral.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Standing in the world index by political party

13.  Economic Optimism

Consumer spending drives two-thirds of the economy.  When people are confident, they are likely to spend money.

From January 2021 to August 2021, economic confidence remained in the optimistic zone, above 50.  After eight months of optimism, it reversed to the pessimistic zone in September 2021.

As the year comes to a close, the index is below 50 and negative.  Republicans (29.8%) and Independents (40.6%) are pessimistic.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Economic optimism by party

14.  Financial Stress

The IBD/TIPP Financial Stress Index is a one-of-a-kind metric evaluating financial stress.  In December 2007, we began using it to track financial stress.

The index ranges from 0 to 100; the higher the number, the more the stress.  A reading of 50.0 is the neutral point.

The Financial Stress Index was below 50, in the positive territory, before the start of the pandemic.  Since March 2020, the index has been in the negative territory.  It impacts all Americans irrespective of party affiliation.

New virus strains, persistent inflation, vaccine mandates, tax hike talk, and job insecurity exacerbate financial stress. The end of pandemic financial assistance, such as unemployment benefits, mortgage forbearance, and eviction relief, may also contribute to financial stress for many Americans.

Furthermore, the pandemic created haves and have-nots, which the American media has failed to highlight.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Financial Stress Index by party

15.  Job Sensitive Households

As we end 2021, 55% of U.S. households are job-sensitive.  We consider a household job sensitive if at least one family member is actively seeking full-time employment (job seekers) or if the family is concerned that one of its members will be laid off within the next year (concerned).

In December 2021, 44% of households had at least one member looking for a full-time job (job seekers).  35% are concerned that a household member may lose their job in the coming 12 months (concerned).

This unique understanding is not available in government data and is only available in TIPP data.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Job sensitive households in the United States

16.  Job Sensitive Households By Party

Job sensitivity affects all Americans and does not discriminate based on political affiliation.  Democratic households have the highest level of job sensitivity (59%), followed by independents (54%).

Counterintuitive, Republicans have the lowest job sensitivity at 47%, despite their general dissatisfaction.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Job Sensitive households in the United States by political party

Long View

In the charts below, we take a long-term look at the 21 years from 2001 to 2021.

We frequently hear in public that now is the beginning of the end for our great country.  Studying these charts will help the reader realize that this great nation has survived worse times.

17.  Direction Of Country (from 2001-2021)

In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans rallied around the flag.  The highest reading for the 21 years was 59.9 in 2001.

Over the next seven years, under President Bush, it steadily fell to 29.5 at the end of 2008, when a financial tsunami hit the country.

Under President Obama, we were tracking sideways in the mid-thirties between 2009 and 2017.  During President Trump's reign, we experienced a slight uptick; however that ended in a pandemic in 2020.

Under the new Biden administration, the index increased largely from Democrats' confidence under President Biden.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Direction of country index 2001-2021

18.  America's Standing In The World (from 2001-2021)

The post-9/11 score of  56.6 in 2001 is the highest rating Americans' have given the Standing in the World index.  A close second - the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first Black President in the 2008 election.  (The spike from 49.9 to 55.6 is notable.)

IBD/TIPP Poll results: Standing in the world index (2001-2021)

19.  Economic Optimism (from 2001-2021)

President Bush takes credit for both the best and worst readings.  Economic confidence was highest in the post-9/11 days, reaching a high of 57.6 in 2002.  The financial tsunami of 2008 shattered economic confidence, and it fell to 42.5.

President Obama could never get it above 50 and into the positive zone.  Even his detractors will admit that President Trump was great for the economy.

President Biden's fiscal policy does not inspire confidence with a tax-and-spend mindset.  With raging inflation and the possibility of a recession, the question here is whether we will experience stagflation in 2022.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Economic optimism index 2001-2021

20.  Presidential Leadership (from 2001-2021)

Over the past 21 years, President Bush had the best year (70.6 in 2002) and the worst year (33.8 in 2008).  President Obama opened with a good year with 57.7 in 2009 and ended with a good year (51.0 in 2016).  President Trump never made it into the positive zone.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Presidential leadership index 2002-2021

21.  Presidential Leadership

Here we compare the first eleven months of four presidents.  President Bush, in his first term, got a boost after 9/11.

President Obama started at 71.0 in the first month after the inauguration and ended the year at 52.7.

President Trump opened at 49.2 and closed his first year at 38.5.

President Biden started at 63.1 and closed his first year at 49.6.

IBD/TIPP Poll Results: Comparison of presdential leadership index Bush term 1 - Biden term 1

The article demonstrates how the United States is a resilient country that has withstood the test of time.  Internationally, as we approach 2022, the United States, as the world's superpower, faces challenges from two rivals, China and Russia, in multiple theaters.

Domestically, the pandemic's and economy's paths are uncertain.

However, a study of the previous 21-year data reassures us that we will overcome the challenges and continue to be the greatest country in the history of the world. So don't believe pundits when they say, "This is the beginning of the end."  As President Reagan once said, "America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere."  

Let's keep what President Reagan said 32 years ago in our minds as we usher in 2022:  I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind, it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

You can read Part 1 of the series here.

21 Charts Review Biden’s America in 2021
The year that was in numbers.

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TIPP Takes


Preview Of News Events In 2022

Selected events scheduled during 2022 include the U.S. mid-term elections, presidential elections in France, South Korea, Brazil, and the Philippines, and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s bid to win an unprecedented third term. Queen Elizabeth becomes the first British monarch to mark 70 years on the throne, and India and Pakistan celebrate 75 years of independence. Sporting highlights include the Beijing Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.


  1. France takes over the rotating six-month presidency of the European Council.
  2. Eric Adams is sworn in as the second Black mayor of New York City.
  3. Libya is due to hold legislative elections to help unify the country after years of conflict.


  1. Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics, the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter Games.
  2. China marks the Year of the Tiger. People born in Tiger years are said to be passionate, daring, and fearless.
  3. Queen Elizabeth becomes the first British monarch to mark 70 years on the throne. Celebrations will take place in June.


  1. A committee dominated by pro-Beijing voices will choose Hong Kong’s next chief executive.
  2. South Koreans cast their votes in presidential elections.
  3. The 94th Academy Awards take place in Los Angeles.


  1. French voters decide whether to give Emanuel Macron a second term at the Elysée during a two-round presidential election.
  2. NASA’s SuperBIT, the next-generation space telescope that rides above the clouds on a balloon, is due to launch.
  3. World leaders meet in Kunming, China, for the second phase of the COP15 biodiversity summit.


  1. A virtual concert by pop legends Abba debuts in London, featuring digitized versions of the band members.
  2. Philippine voters head to the polls to elect a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte.
  3. Russia is scheduled to launch Luna 25 – the country’s first mission to the Moon’s surface in 45 years.


  1. Matariki, the Maori new year, becomes a public holiday in New Zealand.
  2. Glastonbury – one of the world’s largest music festivals – returns after a two-year break.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the most important abortion case in a generation and perhaps overturn the 1973 ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide.


  1. The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament kicks off across England.
  2. The Tour de France rides into history with the inaugural Tour de France Femmes.
  3. Germany starts returning its Benin Bronzes, looted from the Benin Kingdom during colonial times, to Nigeria.


  1. A NASA mission will investigate Psyche, a metal-rich asteroid that could contain $10,000 quadrillion of iron alone.
  2. Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan mark 75 years of independence.
  3. Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris 25 years ago.


  1. NASA’s DART spacecraft is due to crash into a space rock to test technologies to prevent an asteroid from a potential doomsday collision with Earth.
  2. China hosts the BRICS group of the world’s leading emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  3. Voters in Sweden head to the polls to elect a new parliament.


  1. General elections take place in Brazil.
  2. The Chinese Communist Party holds its 20th National Party Congress, where Xi Jinping is expected to seek an unprecedented third term.
  3. Egypt hosts COP27, picking up where COP26 in Glasgow left off to secure meaningful targets to halt global warming.


  1. U.S. mid-term elections see Democrats hoping to keep their narrow control of the Senate and the House.
  2. The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is staged in winter to avoid the emirate’s hot summer.
  3. One year since Barbados became a republic, construction starts on a memorial to West African slaves, designed by renowned architect David Adjaye.


  1. An animated movie based on the popular Super Mario Bros video game is released.
  2. Ireland commemorates the centenary of the foundation of the Irish Free State.
  3. China expects to have completed the construction of its first permanent space station.

Best wishes from the tippinsights team
Best wishes from the tippinsights team

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