DHM Research

An OK Time to be Alive

DHM Panel December Survey Results

January 21, 2020

As the 2010s wrapped up and we headed into a new decade, we are curious to know what Oregonians think of previous decades and what their expectations are for the decade to come.

These findings come from the December 2019 fielding of our DHM Panel. The survey was conducted from December 11 to 17, 2019, and surveyed 564 Oregonians. The results were weighted by age, gender, area of the state, political party, and level of education to ensure a representative sample of Oregon voters. The margin of error for this survey is ±4.13%.

Looking back, Oregonians think most fondly of the 50s, 80s, 90s, and 2010s. They agree that the past decade was better for some groups of people than others.

When asked to reflect on previous decades, Oregonian’s shared clear preferences. While 18% answered that they were unsure, favor was distributed almost evenly between the 1950s, 1980s, 1990s, and the 2010s.

Bar graph showing Oregonians' opinions on which American decade was the best.

While the 2010s were one of the decades viewed more positively by Oregonians, they believe that this decade was better for some groups of people than for others. About one-half of Oregonians believe the 2010s were better for women and people of color than previous decades. A majority of Oregonians, almost seven in ten, feel that this past decade was worse for the middle class and for children growing up during this time, than in previous decades.

Bar graph showing different groups of people and their opinions on whether 2010-2019 was better or worse.

Just over one-quarter of Oregonians are unsure whether this past decade was better or worse for whites and men.

In general, Oregonians are not too optimistic about the next decade.

When thinking generally about the future of our state, 63% of Oregonians expect conditions to either stay the same or worsen. Fewer are optimistic, expecting things in the state to improve in the next ten years (29%).

Pie chart showing Oregonians' thoughts on whether the 2020's will be better, worse, or the same.

Though Oregonians may not be too optimistic about the upcoming decade, most do not agree that Oregon’s best days are behind us (44%).

Bar graph showing whether or not Oregonians' agree with the statement, "Oregon's best days are behind us."

Oregonians are divided in their opinions of the current economic conditions those of the recent past. Few expect them to improve.

When asked to reflect on the overall economic conditions in the past decade as well as the current economic conditions in the state of Oregon, responses were mostly consistent between the two. A slight majority lean negative in their perceptions of the current conditions (50%) and those of the recent past (56%).

Bar graphs showing Oregonians' perceptions of the present economy and the past decade's.

Oregonians also lean negative when asked to predict the economic conditions in Oregon ten years from now. One-quarter think the conditions will remain the same, and 43% expect conditions to worsen.

Pie chart showing Oregonians' opinions on whether economic conditions in Oregon will better, worse, or the same in 2029.

Though Oregonians tend to be pessimistic about the future of our state, they still remain hopeful in some areas. When asked what they are most hopeful for in 2020, Oregonians shared a wide variety of answers, some of which can be seen below.