Data Points: Good Times, Bad Times

Americans are upbeat about their kids and their own lives, but have a dim outlook on the economy and the younger generation in general

Americans still believe in themselves, their friends and family. But in areas further outside their control, like their jobs and the economy, optimism wanes, and along with it, consumer spending, found a new study by MediaVest and Ipsos Mendelsohn, Optimism in America. But it's not all bad. While people saw their lives as average overall, one-third expected things to be great five years from now.

MediaVest and Ipsos also found that in core optimism measures, people fell into one of four segments. The most optimistic cut across demographic lines: They skew young, urban, higher-income, immigrant and ethnic. More typical were those comprising 37 percent of respondents, who had strong feelings of optimism about themselves and their families but modest optimism about their career and finances and flagging optimism about America and the rest of the world.

Infographic: Carlos Monteiro