Four trends to be thankful for this Thanksgiving


is a time to be thankful for friends, family, and all those we hold dear. But it’s also worth remembering that, despite the doom and gloom constantly blaring in the headlines, our country is still actually making tremendous progress.

Here are four trends to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

1. We’re all getting richer

Just in the last 40 years, the average income per person in the United States has almost doubled, according to
. In 1980, the income per person was $29,611 in 2011 dollars, and it’s now $55,335 in 2011 dollars. That’s an 87% increase, even after factoring in

We hear a lot about inequality and the other economic problems facing people in the U.S. And they’re
. But we should keep in mind the reality that, frankly, we’re almost all doing a lot better than generations before us in the not-too-distant past.

2. Abortion is rarer

Regardless of where you fall on the
question, almost everyone agrees that abortion is a grim and unfortunate thing. Thankfully, the abortion rate in the U.S. has dropped drastically since 1980. In that year, the rate was 29.3 abortions occurring for every 1,000 women,
according to NPR
. By 2014, it had dropped to 14.6 per 1,000.

Abortion is often a dark and traumatic experience for the woman involved, to say nothing of the loss of human life. So, regardless of ideological persuasion, we should all be happy to see it becoming more of a rarity in our society.

3. America is far less racist

Conversations about
and identity seem louder and more contentious than ever. This often obscures the fact that radical progress has been made, as is clear from the drastic shift in the polling surrounding interracial marriage.

In 1980, which, again, is really not that long ago, only around 40% of people in the U.S. approved of interracial marriage, Gallup
. (Yes, seriously.) Now, as of 2021, 94% of people approve.

4. Fewer babies are dying

Few things are more heartbreaking than the death of a newborn. This tragic occurrence used to be much more common in our society than it is today. In large part thanks to medical innovation, the infant mortality rate has improved by 54% since 1980,
according to HumanProgress

So why are we all so negative all the time?

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative headlines and start to despair or feel like things are constantly getting worse. Yet this isn’t actually the case. It’s a false impression created by the “if it bleeds, it leads” approach to media and the human instinct to focus on the negative.

But we can rise above this instinct. This Thanksgiving, don’t just be grateful for your friends and family, as important as that may be. You should also celebrate the many ways in which our country is improving.


Brad Polumbo (
) is a co-founder of
, a co-host of the
Based Politics
, and a
Washington Examiner contributor.

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