Poll: U.S. satisfaction in 2011 ranks as second lowest since 1979

For much of 2011, Americans cited the economy in general, unemployment, dissatisfaction with government, and the deficit as the top problems facing the country. The latest update does show a few notable changes, however.

First, the percentages mentioning the economy in general and unemployment are down from November, including an 11-point drop in mentions of unemployment.

Related to this, the 64% of Americans mentioning any economic issue is the lowest Gallup has measured in over a year, since July 2010, though it remains well above the average of 45% since 2001.

Also, the 16% of Americans who say “the government” or “politicians” is the most important problem is the highest Gallup has measured since January 1996.